Dr. Kaberi Banerjee – an IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a sophisticated set of treatments used to aid in creating a child or to help with fertility, or prevent genetic abnormalities. In IVF, mature eggs are taken out from the ovaries and fertilized in a lab with the best sperm.
There is a use of several drugs to stimulate ovulation. Gametes are recruited. There is a cultivation of embryos in an IVF before being frozen and thawed and substantial doses of progesterone to promote the luteal phase during the procedure. Does this artificail process harm the children born there of?
A study of over 100,000 IVF children born in 1992-2008 found no significant difference in rates of cancer or cancer types, compared to a non-IVF conceived population.
Similar results were found in a Nordic study. A US study of 275,000 children from 2004-2013 also found no overall cancer risk, differences in cancer types, differences by IVF type or infertility cause. A small increased risk of liver tumours was found in this study.
As IVF children grow older, they face some health risks. It is not guaranteed that they will, but it is always better to be extra cautious. One of the concerns could be high blood pressure in adolescents. They also are taller than naturally conceived children.
Yes, IVF babies are frequently born early. Low birth weight and hospitalization are all associated with a lower gestational age. There have also been occurrences of newborn death in the worst-case situations. Congenital birth abnormalities are slightly higher than naturally conceived babies.
More than commonly conceived children, no specific physical problems could arise in artificially designed children. But these children are prone to having cardiovascular issues when they are older, along with increased glucose levels in the body. Some studies have seen an increased risk of epigenetic problems in IVF-conceived children.
Even after considering all of the realities, IVF remains a blessing for people who cannot conceive naturally. More than 95% of IVF children are healthy. Long term follow up studies of these children are ongoing.