Study Shows Decline in Birth Defects in IVF Babies
A new Australian study finds that cases of major birth defects in children born through assisted reproduction techniques (ART)—known to pose a high risk of birth defects—have declined in recent years.
Reuters Health reports that the study found that overall birth defects, such as cleft lip, hip dysplasia, and malformations of the heart, abdominal wall and genitals, occurred in about 8 percent of singleton babies conceived by ART, compared to about 5 percent in babies conceived without assistance. Between 1994 and 1998, nearly 11 percent of ART babies had been diagnosed with a birth defect by age six; however, that figure dropped to about 7.5 percent between 1998 and 2002.
The reason for the decline was unclear but researchers told Reuters that it may be due to improved laboratory techniques for transferring embryos and changes to the medications used for ovarian stimulation.
The study was based on data collected from more than 207,000 births in Western Australia, including 1,328 babies conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 633 by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, from 1994 to 2002. The data also took into account the pregnancies terminated due to a fetal defects.
Reuters Health reports that ART is linked with a 37 percent increase in the risk of being born with a birth defect, according to the estimates from a number of studies. The reasons for the high risk are not established to date.
If your child experienced a birth injury, contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation and to find out if a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you.