Birth Defects Tied to Fertility Techniques
11.26.08 Study finds babies conceived with assistance face higher risks for heart and cleft problems.
A new study has found that babies born to couples who rely on medical technology to become pregnant have much higher rates of certain birth defects, The New York Times reports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings applied to single births only, not multiples, from assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization. The study did not include women who only took fertility drugs.
The babies in the study had twice as many heart defects and cleft lips and nearly four times as many gastrointestinal defects as those conceived without assistance. The researchers were quick to note that the overall rate of the defects was low and the majority of babies conceived with assisted reproduction were normal. In addition, the study's author told the NYT that a link was found but the research did not explain if the procedures boost the birth defects risk or whether infertility itself raised it.
There are plenty of steps you can take to curb the risk of birth defects. Vitamins More Vital Than Ever helps explain why it's so important to get the Nutrients You Need—especially the top one: folate. It's never too early to take care of yourself and give your baby the best start.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.