IVF Babies Fine, But Mothers Face Risk

Cynthia Dermody

IVF procedureMoms considering or going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) have enough to stress over.

The expense. It can run into the tens of thousands and sometimes insurance doesn't cover it.

Is it going to work? On average, a woman has a 35 percent chance of getting pregnant (the odds are less the older she is) and a 30 percent chance of delivering a live baby.

The Octomom fear -- will it give me more babies than I want? Some 20 to 40 percent of IVF procedures produce multiples.

And, not the least of which, Will my babies be okay? Your doctor may tell you that there's some evidence showing IVF babies have more health problems than babies conceived naturally or through other fertility methods, including low birth rate and certain defects. More about this in our own post on infertility and birth defects.

But a recent Japanese study may cause docs to back off that thinking a bit. According to Reuters, researchers found that babies conceived through IVF do generally as well as babies conceived naturally and from other artificial methods, including pills to stimulate eggs and artificial insemination.

Unfortunately, the study also found that mothers who undergo IVF have a higher risk of placenta previa, a condition that pops up in the second or third trimester in which the placenta blocks the birth canal, potentially causing problems during childbirth. Moms with this condition often must go on bed rest for the remainder of their pregnancy.

But at least they can rest a little easier about the babies in their belly.


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