Assisted Reproduction Linked to Birth Defects


assisted reproductive technology birth defectsMore than 1% of infants are conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) today, and new research shows that these babies are at greater risk for certain birth defects than babies conceived naturally.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined data from the National Birth Defects Prevention study and found that babies born to women who had used high-tech fertility procedures involving both egg and sperm (such as IVF) were two to four times as likely to be born with some birth defects. Those included a septal heart defect (or hole in the heart), cleft lip, and certain gastrointestinal defects.

Although the likelihood of these occurrences is small, there is some risk and an apparent connection between the technology and the defects, although researchers are unsure why -- the defects could be linked to the infertility itself.

Do any of these issues resonate with you? Are you trying or thinking of trying IVF? If so, connect with one of these groups (some are private, so you'll need to join) to swap info and get support:

in the news, trying to conceive

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nonmember avatar Fertility Exper

"In the US, 1 in every 950 babies is born with a cleft lip with or without cleft palate. The study showed that using ART doubled this risk to around 1 in every 425."

As a Fertility Specialist, I always keep patients informed about the facts. Patients should weigh between the risks and the benefits before decide to proceed with any procedure.

However, read between the lines. Statistic data tend to fool the audience by using multiple or percentage.

Take example of the statement above, from the original report, in raw data, how many more baby (ies) has birth defect in a population of 1000 as compared to the control?

Studies also showed that, some of these birth defects probably has something to do with the original causes of infertility ( age, familial trait etc..)
Minh N. Ho, MD
Board Certified in REI

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