9.8 Brief summary

The fetal period comprises roughly the two last trimesters of the pregnancy. This means 30 weeks in which the fetus enlarges the organ system that was laid down in the embryonic phase.
In this time, the expectant mother is monitored so that irregularities in the pregnancy can be caught as soon as possible and in case therapy be performed. Today there exist for this purpose a variety of non-invasive and invasive prenatal diagnostic possibilities that can be employed, depending on the question being investigated.

The fetus and, in a much larger measure, the embryo is very sensitive to teratogenic substances. They can cause deformities to the organ systems in their formative stages (fetopathies). The possibility of prenatal diagnostics naturally evokes the question of pregnancy interruption when a severe genetically inherited problem has been diagnosed.

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