More than 3.7 million babies each year are born with help from fertility treatments. A new Australian study examines the risk for birth defects associated with the different types of assisted reproductive technology.
Researchers compared risk of major birth defects - such as cerebral palsy or heart or gastrointestinal defects - among babies born with help of the most commonly available types of fertility treatments, including IVF (in vitro fertilization), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and ovulation induction, by reviewing a South Australian registry of more than 300,000 birth records and 18,000 birth defects. The researchers identified 6,100 assisted reproductive technology births, and found an 8.3 percent risk for any birth defect in pregnancies that involved any type of fertility treatment, compared with a 5.8 percent chance of a birth defect among pregnancies not using assisted conception.
There was a 7.2 percent risk of birth defects among babies born through IVF and a 9.9 percent risk for babies born through ICSI.