GDIFR Blog

By GDIFR Posted in Infertility Friday, 10 January 2020

Myth2: IVF Babies may have birth defects, low birth weight or development delays
"There is no truth" to this fear, in fact IVF embryos are often genetically tested prior to implantation.

Babies conceived this way may actually have a leg up, says Dr. Surrey's colleague, Shahin Ghadir, MD: "Studies have shown that children born to IVF, due to the fact that their parents are well-educated and informed and possibly of higher socioeconomic status...have higher IQs and are developmentally advanced."

General birth defects vs. IVF birth defects

Many of the reports that suggest an increased risk of congenital abnormalities with IVF are limited by methodological and statistical difficulties. Patients undergoing IVF are older than the general fertile population and increased female age increases the risk for a genetic abnormality.

Congenital abnormalities are rare so scientific studies require a very large number of births to see if there is an association. It is important to compare the number of abnormalities in children born from IVF to the number of abnormalities in children born to infertile couples without treatment, not to the general population.

The risk of a child with a birth defect in the general fertile population is roughly 3–5 percent. After an IVF cycle, the best current estimate is that the birth defect rate increases by approximately 1 percent.

A number of studies have indicated that couples with infertility, whether conceiving on their own or through other non-IVF treatment, have the same increased risk of birth defects as those undergoing IVF.

It is also possible that couples undergoing ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) may be at a slightly higher risk for having a child with an abnormality than couples undergoing routine IVF treatment. This is likely because of the increase in chromosome abnormalities in men with extremely low sperm counts. Recent studies suggest that if the sperm count is fairly normal, there is no increase in birth defects if ICSI is done.

We are the leading Infertility Treatment and IVF Clinic in Kolkata and are internationally recognized as a centre of excellence. At the helm is our Director - Dr. Sudarsan Ghosh Dastidar, a man with over 30 years of experience in this subject.

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