Does a higher risk of birth defects result with the use of reproductive technology? Based on news reports, a study performed in the United States is suggesting that women who use in vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies may have a higher risk of having children with certain types of birth defects.
With that said, the authors of the study caution that the findings are too preliminary to stop a woman from conceiving this way.
Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) in 2014, the most recent year of analysis, there were 208,786 Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”) cycles performed at 460 reporting clinics in the United States during 2014, resulting in 57,332 live births…” The CDC reports that although ART is relatively rare, the use of this method of conceiving has doubled over the last decade.
One reason for the increased risk of complications may be associated with the fact that women using ART may have an older maternal age or they may have other health related issues which lead them to try ART. The study did not explain the cause of the increased risk of birth defects in the babies.
Researchers looked at data on over 4.6 million babies born in Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan from 2000 to 2010. Of the 4.6 million babies born, 1.4% or around 65,000 were conceived using ART. For every 10,000 babies 59 of those conceived using ART had a birth defect. On the other hand, for every 10,000 babies conceived “the old fashioned way” 48 had a birth defect.
One interesting bit of information was that most women who used ART were around 35 years old, whereas the other women were under 30.
To read more about this story and the study involved click HERE for the article in support of this posting.