Long-Term Side Effects of In vitro Fertilization

Long-Term Side Effects Of IVF Treatment In Children

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Did you know that approximately 5 million babies all around the globe are born and conceived through Invitro Fertilization Technique?

Invitro Fertilization is getting popular these days. Medical experts now are raising concerns about the long-term side effects of the IVF treatment. Are the test tube babies at the greater risks of long-term diseases such as hypertension and autism? It’s time to find out. But before, let’s know some details about invitro fertilization and why it’s popular.

What is InVitro Fertilization (IVF)?

InVitro Fertilization (IVF) is an artificial method of fertilization. It is an assisted reproductive technology (ART). In this method, fertilization is done by extracting eggs, collecting the sperm sample and combining them manually in a laboratory dish. Once they get fertilized, the embryo is formed. The surgeon then transfers the embryo to the uterus for further growth and development.

A single cycle of IVF takes about two weeks if you are going for intrauterine insemination. It means that it takes two weeks for a woman to get pregnant with IVF. During this two weeks, your ovaries stimulate to produce follicles and ovulation starts. Soon, surgeon inseminates  thereby resulting in fertilization. If IVF is done on plates then it takes a bit longer, nearly 4 to 6 weeks. Later the surgeons carefully transfer the embryo into the suitable carrier for further growth and development.

IVF has become the most successful methods of assisted reproductive technology and the success rate is also pretty high. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the success rate of IVF is also increasing in every age with the advancement and refinement of the techniques and practice.

Why IVF?

The concept of IVF started at the turn of the 19th century as the problem of sterility started among the males and females. After several years of research and experiments, IVF stood out to be the effective method for the treatment of infertility and genetic problems. Most people use IVF if one of your partners has some complicated problems such as:

  • Damage of the fallopian tube
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Poor Sperm mobility
  • Unexplained fertility
  • Genetic Disorder
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Unexplained infertility

You might also want to read our article in sound health solution: How To Keep Your Sperm Strong, Fertile And Healthy: 6 Rules

Long-term Side Effects of IVF

Though IVF has proven to be the most effective and reliable infertility treatments so far, there have been cases of side effects and complications following the procedure. For starters, in manual fertilization, there are greater chances of formation of twins and triplets which causes medical complication during delivery for both the mother and the babies. Also, there are tons of other side effects and risks of IVF which include:

  • Miscarriage: When frozen eggs and sperms are fertilized manually, there are greater risks of miscarriage. However, the rate of miscarriage via IVF with fresh embryos is similar to that of women who give birth naturally.
  • Premature birth: Several studies have shown that the use of IVF slightly increases the risk that a baby will be born early or with a low birth weight.
  • Birth Defects: in which the newly born babies might suffer cognitive deficiencies and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: Use of injectable fertility drugs, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), to induce ovulation can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Here your ovaries become swollen and painful, even leading to bursting of the ovaries, which is quite dangerous. Symptoms of this syndrome include abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, weight gain, stress, shortness of breath and so on.
  • Egg-retrieval procedure complications. Use of an aspirating needle to collect eggs could possibly cause bleeding, infection or damage to the bowel.
  • Ovarian cancer. Some early studies suggested there may be a link between certain medications used to stimulate egg growth and the development of a specific type of ovarian tumor. However, more recent studies do not support these findings.

Children Born-Via IVF and Hypertension

Recent studies have shown that children born after IVF had early signs of problematic blood vessels compared to those who were born naturally. Dr. Urs Scherrer of the Universiy of Bern in Switzerland studied the health of children conceived through IVF and ART for more than a decade. He found that ART born children showed early signs of premature vascular aging in their young adulthood which could create serious problems in the future.

Hence, those kids, who’re just 16 years old now are facing the problems of high blood pressure. This research study has added science-based evidence linking that children conceived this way may have an elevated risk of hypertension.

Also, there were some claims and controversies regarding test-tube children are more at risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders and cognitive disabilities such as autism or learning disabilities but the new study has proved them wrong.

A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the New York State Health Department and other institutions found that delays in growth and development are not prevalent in children conceived through IVF. That’s a sign of relief!

Despite this fact, IVF side effects require further research and experiments to find out the long-term impact of this technique on the health of children.

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