In-vitro fertilization (IVF) increases the risk of urogenital malformation and Cerebral Palsy (CP) in children, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet. Though the fertility procedures have been performed for about thirty years, researchers say relatively little is known yet regarding the health of children born via in-vitro fertilization. While some morbidity associated with the procedures has rightly been attributed to the subfertile parents, much remains unknown about the risks posed by the procedures themselves. According to this study, based on data collected from 1980 to 2005, children born through IVF techniques appear to have a 30% higher risk of major congenital malformations, regardless of the technique employed by physicians. They also face a higher risk of developing CP, which researchers attribute partly to the increased risk of premature birth, and partly to the increased odds of the in-utero loss of one child in instances where twins are present — both events are more common in IVF pregnancies, and are known indicators of increased CP risk. The risk of CP appears to be lower in single-embryo transfers as opposed to multiple-embryo transfers. Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Cerebral Palsy answers and advocacy
- Cerebral Palsy support groups
- Children with Cerebral Palsy enjoy quality of life
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