Fertility Treatments May Raise Risk for Birth Defects

In a recent study from Australia, researchers discovered that certain types of infertility treatments may raise the risk of birth defects. While infertility can be a cause for desperation to conceive, the risks are something to be aware of.

Risky Infertility Treatments

If your approach to infertility is the old-fashioned at-home method of collecting sperm and injecting it with a turkey baster, you probably are not engaging in a treatment method that increases the risk for birth defects. However, these recent findings show methods such as hormone treatments to stimulate ovulation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertilization have significantly increased risk of birth defects, such as cerebral palsy, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions.

Compared to conception without medical intervention, in which birth defects occur at a rate of 5.8 percent, birth defects with these three infertility methods ranged from 7.2 to 9.9 percent. Interestingly enough, when embryos were frozen for storage, the rates of birth defects decreased, possibly because unviable embryos may not survive the process.

There may be a number of explanations for the higher rates of birth defects with fertility treatments. For example, for older couples, the age of the mother can be a contributing factor, since the older a woman is when she conceives, the higher the risk of birth defects because her eggs are older. Additionally, the overall health of the mother, including being overweight can contribute to the development of birth defects.

If you are having difficulty conceiving and are considering infertility treatment, consider the risks and potential consequences. While having a child can be foremost in your mind, it is important to be aware of potential risks to both you and your child before conceiving.

– The Alternative Daily

Recommended Articles