In Vitro Linked to Birth Defects

Study finds higher rate of certain defects among babies born with help of technology
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 6:59 AM CST
A new study finds that babies born with the help of in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection are likelier to suffer certain birth defects.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Babies conceived with the help of medical technology are much more likely to suffer from several serious birth defects, a new study finds. Infants whose mothers used in vitro fertilization or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection were around twice as likely to have heart defects or cleft palates and four times as likely to suffer gastrointestinal defects, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, emphasized that the defect rate was still relatively low in births using fertility technology. Experts noted that the study did not explore whether the defects could be attributed to the medical procedures themselves, or whether the underlying problems causing infertility in the parents could be responsible.