Consultation and Information regarding Risks during Pregnancy, Ministry of Health
Pregnancy and Childbirth

Consultation and Information regarding Risks during Pregnancy

Service Description

Teratological Consulting

​The information center for environmental exposure during the prenatal period provides information and guidance based on worldwide information on fetal safety and risks resulting from exposure to drugs, infections, radiation, chemicals, maternal illnesses and environmental factors.

The service is intended for women who are pregnant, planning pregnancy or nursing, for physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and the general public.
The Center has been in existence since 1987.

The Center’s Objectives

    • To prevent congenital defects 
    • To prevent unnecessary planned abortions in cases where the pregnancy is welcome and there is no additional risk.
    • To encourage continuation of safe treatment in cases where risk arises from untreated disease.
    • To reduce the anxiety among women during their pregnancy or among women planning a pregnancy in cases where there is no risk-amplifying factor.

    Primary and Secondary Prevention

    • Primary prevention
      Encouraging women to take folic acid before and during the pregnancy.
      Assimilation of the preference of safe drugs during pregnancy over drugs involving teratogenic potential, in cases where such a substitution is clinically possible.
    • Secondary prevention
      Recommendation to undergo tests during the pregnancy and the prenatal stage if necessary and to consider abortion in cases where severe defects are diagnosed.
    • Research
      Collection of data concerning environmental exposures where there is insufficient data on the safety of taking the drugs during the pregnancy, in an effort to improve the advice.

    The center’s services

    Telephone advice
    • The telephonic service is provided free of charge by a team of professionals.
    • During the conversation, a full explanation of the potential risks to the fetus is provided as well as advice on the tests that can be one to diagnose potential harm to the fetus. A risk assessment letter will subsequently be mailed to the inquirers.
    • In cases where there is no substantial added risk to the fetus from exposure, the letter will be handed to the inquirer. 
    • In cases where there is a risk to the pregnancy or to the fetus, the letter will be forwarded to the medical caregiver.
    • In urgent cases, the doctors can call the head of the teratologic consulting center directly.

    In cases where there is a substantially increased risk to the fetus following the exposure, an appointment for consultation at the clinic with one of the center’s doctors can be arranged.

    Examples of frequent subjects of consultation

    • Consultation regarding taking antibiotic or anti-allergic medications during pregnancy
    • Consultation regarding taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications during pregnancy
    • Consultation regarding exposure to contraceptive pills at the beginning of an unplanned pregnancy
    • Exposure to x-rays during pregnancy
    • Maternal diabetes
    • Suspicion of the mother having caught an infection or a viral disease such as CMV during pregnancy

    Service Details

    Reception Area

    The national center for teratological advice in the Ministry of Health
    Phone counseling: Sunday - Thursday, 9:00am – 3:00pm
    Counseling session: Can be arranged by phone
    Address: 39 Yirmiyahu St., Jerusalem 9446724
    Phone: 02-5082825
    Fax: 02-6474822

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