Congenital conditions are those present from birth. Birth defects are described as being congenital. They can be caused by a genetic mutation, an unfavorable environment in the uterus, or a combination of both factors.


So congenital is something that's really present at birth. And when we talk about congenital, some people think it's just because it's present at birth that it has to mean that it's genetics, but that's not necessarily the case. Many birth defects that are seen at birth can be genetics, but then there are lots of other reasons of having something wrong at birth of the baby, and that could be due to medications, due to things the mother took during the pregnancy that then resulted in the baby having problems that could be seen at birth.

- Maximilian Muenke, M.D.