During Friday’s episode of General Hospital, Sonny and Carly Corinthos finally learned what kind of health challenges they could be facing with their unborn baby. Spoilers had been hinting that something might go wrong with this pregnancy and now everybody knows specifically where this might be headed. Luckily, this possibility doesn’t mean hope for the baby to thrive is unreasonable.
The Mayo Clinic details that spina bifida refers to a birth defect where the baby’s spinal cord and spine do not properly form. There are several different forms of the condition and they can range from mild to severe.
It is not known what causes spina bifida. Risk factors are said to include a family history of neural tube defects, mothers with diabetes that is not well-controlled or folate deficiency. Additional potential risk factors include the use of some anti-seizure medications, obesity and having an increased body temperature early in the pregnancy, like from a fever or sauna.
When spina bifida is discovered, surgery is typically performed to repair the defect. However, that doesn’t always fully take care of the problem. Some individuals diagnosed with spina bifida experience few symptoms or disabilities. However, those who have a more severe form may have more significant physical disabilities.
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According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the severity of spina bifida depends on where the opening in the spine is located and how large it is, as well as whether or not the nerves and spinal cord are affected. The disabilities one experiences with the condition may be intellectual in addition to being physical.
Those with significant spina bifida issues may face physical challenges like mobility issues, spine or leg issues, problems with the bladder or bowel or issues like meningitis or hydrocephalus. Carly and Sonny’s obstetrician explained to the couple that they should not panic, that there was nothing Carly did to cause this, and that the situation will be watched over carefully by a full team of doctors.
If the spina bifida is determined to be severe, surgery is often done prior to the baby’s birth. Some mild forms of the condition don’t require treatment.
Where will this head next for Sonny and Carly? General Hospital spoilers from SheKnows Soaps detail that Carly will struggle with some sleepless nights in the coming week, surely due to worries over this baby and the possibility he or she may have spina bifida. The child isn’t due to be born until the fall, and plenty of additional teasers about what comes next will surely emerge over the next few months.