Infertility data sheds new light on birth defects

New scientific research has found there is a heightened risk of birth defects in infants conceived using infertility treatments.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, compared 302,811 pregnancies which included natural conceptions, as well as those achieved with IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and gamete intrafallopian transfers.

Researchers found that combined; there was a 28 per cent greater risk of birth defects in babies born after fertility treatment was administered.

These complications included heart, muscle, urogenital and gastrointestinal problems, as well as cerebral palsy.

Women who received fertility treatment were also found to be more likely to have a still birth or deliver before 32 weeks.

However, lead author of the report Michael Davies states that the work has helped to highlight the most effective fertility treatments.

"A cycle of a single fresh embryo transfer with IVF and, if necessary, followed by the transfer of a frozen embryo will result in no significant additional risk above that of a spontaneous conception," he said.
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