Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition in which fetus is unable to achieve its genetically determined potential size. It is also known as Intrauterine growth . In another words, IUGR refers to a condition when a baby fails to grow at the expected rate during the pregnancy.
Babies who have IUGR will often have a low weight during birth. If the baby weight is below the 10th percentile for a baby’s gestational age (90% of babies age weigh more) and the baby is also referred as small for gestational age (SGA).
Types of IUGR
1. Symmetrical IUGR in which a baby’s body is proportionally small (i.e., all parts of the baby’s body are similarly small in size).
2. Asymmetrical IUGR in which the baby has a normal-size head and brain but the rest of the body is small.
The causes of Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are a result of difficulty which prevents a baby from getting enough oxygen and nutrients, this lack of nourishment slows the growth of the baby. It can happen for a various reasons. A common and main cause is placental insufficiency, the tissue which is responsible to deliver the oxygen and nutrients to the baby is not attached properly or isn’t working correctly.
Possible causes during a woman’s pregnancy are:
• Certain behaviors such as smoking, abusing drugs and drinking alcohol.
• Exposure to infections which are passed from the mother such as cytomegalovirus, syphilis toxoplasmosis, and German measles (rubella).
• Genetic disorders or birth defects.
• High blood pressure.
The risk factors are more likely to occur in women who are carrying more than one baby or who had a previous baby of SGA or had IUGR. Certain medical conditions, such as some types of lung, blood, heart, or autoimmune disease, and anemia can also increase woman’s risk of developing IUGR.
IUGR is confirmed by Ultrasound biometry which is gold standard for assessment of fetal size and the amount of amniotic fluid.