Birth Defects, IVF Linked, but How Linked?

Study finds increased genetic issues among test tube babies
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2009 11:03 AM CST
This image made from a 2006 video provided by KTLA shows Nadya Suleman looking at a ultrasound of her unborn twins at an in-vitro fertilization clinic in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/KTLA)
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(Newser) – Though the octuplets have pushed in vitro fertilization into the spotlight, there's still one question that's going largely unasked, reports the New York Times: "What is the chance that an IVF baby will have a birth defect?" Though a November study provided preliminary evidence—of 9,584 babies with birth defects, 2.4% were conceived through IVF—and the risk appears minimal, scientists want to know more...but they're largely the only ones.

The head of IVF at a Boston hospital says not a single patient has been deterred by the mention of increased risk for rare genetic disorders included on the consent firm. Another IVF director echoes her experience: “I have never had a patient ask me anything” about it, he said, adding, “For that matter, not many doctors have ever asked, either.”