In vitro fertilization linked to increase risk for birth defects

October 20, 2012

In vitro fertilization (IVF) may significantly increase the risk of birth defects, particularly those of the eye, heart, reproductive organs and urinary systems, according to new research presented Saturday, Oct. 20, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

According to the study, despite increasing use of IVF in the United States, associations between birth defects and IVF are poorly understood. Management of birth defects comprises a large part of pediatric surgical care and demands significant .

According to the Centers for Disease Control, California has the highest rate of IVF usage in the United States. In the abstract, " Associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology: A California Statewide Analysis," researchers examined infants born in California from 2006-2007 after IVF and other treatments such as fertility-enhancing drugs or artificial insemination. Researchers examined maternal age, race, the number of times the mother had given birth, infant gender, year of birth and presence of major birth defects.

"Our findings included a significant association between the use of assisted reproductive technology, such as certain types of in vitro fertilization, and an increased risk of birth defects," said study author Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, a general surgery resident at UCLA Medical Center, who conducted the research at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.

Overall, 3,463 infants with major birth defects were identified among 4,795 infants born after IVF and 46,025 naturally conceived infants with similar maternal demographics. Birth defects were significantly increased for infants born after IVF – 9 percent versus 6.6 percent for naturally conceived infants, even after controlling for . Specifically, malformations of the eye (0.3 percent versus 0.2 percent), heart (5 percent versus 3 percent), and genitourinary system (1.5 percent versus 1 percent) were greater in IVF infants. Overall, an IVF infant's odds of birth defects were 1.25 times greater than that of a naturally conceived infant with similar maternal characteristics. Risk of birth defects after other fertility treatments such as or ovulation induction alone were not significant.

"For parents considering in vitro fertilization or other forms of , it is important that they understand and discuss with their doctor the potential risks of the procedure before making a decision," said Kelley-Quon.

Explore further: Higher risk of birth defects from assisted reproduction

Related Stories

Higher risk of birth defects from assisted reproduction

May 6, 2012
A University of Adelaide study has identified the risk of major birth defects associated with different types of assisted reproductive technology.

New study finds stronger regulations of in vitro fertilization may save lives

April 14, 2011
The number of couples struggling with infertility is on the rise, and these couples often use assisted reproductive technologies, like in vitro fertilization (IVF), to get pregnant. Although IVF can be successful, it can ...

Prenatal use of newer antiepileptic drugs not associated with increased risk of major birth defects

May 17, 2011
Use of newer-generation antiepileptic drugs, which are also prescribed for bipolar mood disorders and migraine headaches, during the first trimester of pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects ...

Recommended for you

Transplant of ovarian tissue frozen years ago holds hope of life

November 23, 2017
Ovarian tissue that was frozen a decade ago was implanted last week in a 25-year-old cancer survivor who hopes that reviving the tissue from suspended animation will allow her to start a family.

Sleeping position linked to the risk of stillbirth

November 20, 2017
Pregnant women who go to sleep on their back during the later stages of pregnancy face an increased likelihood of suffering a stillbirth, according to new research.

Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility

November 14, 2017
Exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein prior to conception may adversely affect female fertility and pregnancy outcomes, depending on the dosage and duration of exposure, a new study in mice suggests.

IUDs may have a surprising benefit: Protection against cervical cancer

November 7, 2017
Considered a safe and highly effective contraception method, intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also be quietly offering protection against the third-most common cancer in women worldwide. A new study from the Keck School of ...

Increasing rates of chronic conditions putting more moms, babies at risk

November 7, 2017
Pregnant women today are more likely to have chronic conditions that could cause life-threatening complications than at any other time in the past decade - particularly poor women and those living in rural communities, a ...

First time mums with an epidural who lie down more likely to have a normal birth

October 18, 2017
Adopting a lying down position rather than being upright in the later stages of labour for first-time mothers who have had a low dose epidural leads to a higher chance of them delivering their baby without any medical intervention, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.