IVF increases risk of poorer birth outcomes

New maternal and newborn health research has suggested that IVF pregnancies lead to a higher rate of poorer birth outcomes.

The paper, produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' Scientific Advisory Committee, reported that the major risk associated with IVF was multiple births.

Scientists observed how the infertility treatment resulted in a multiple birth in a quarter of all cases.

Subsequently, multiple IVF births also increase the risk a woman will begin labour prematurely.

In addition, IVF was seen to be linked to a higher rate of congenital abnormalities among newborns, but investigators explained this could be due to the underlying infertility of the parents involved.    

Professor Jenny Kurinczuk, Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and co-author of the paper said: "IVF pregnancies carry an increased risk of poor birth outcomes and complications, nevertheless the majority of the children born following IVF will have a good outcome just like any other children."

The World Health Organization states that infertility affects up to 15 per cent of reproductive-aged couples worldwide.

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