In-Vitro Fertilization, commonly referred to as IVF, has emerged as a blessing for all those couples who wished to have a baby. Babies born through IVF are now commonly referred to as IVF babies. There are many who suffer from infertility and can not become natural parents. But for all of those, IVF is a great option.
With the growing use and acceptance of IVF treatment in Nigeria, the concern that has emerged is about the health of these IVF babies. However, there is no perfect proof of IVF born babies risk or well-being available to date as the technology has been around for 40 years.
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Before taking into consideration any associated risks to the born IVF infant, let us review the IVF and Natural Conception first of all:
The natural conception happens in the Fallopian tubes where the sperm makes the egg fertile; the same is achieved in the IVF process in a lab dish After the egg becomes an embryo it automatically moves to the uterus. Meanwhile, the embryo so produced in the laboratory dish is transplanted to the uterus in the case of IVF.
The pregnancy continues at this point, following the normal course of action. Therefore there is not much overlap between IVF and natural conception as such. Hence the issue of IVF babies health somewhere is futile.
Nonetheless, it is important to examine whether there are potential risks involved with the safety of IVF babies. Those which are expected to occur are:
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- Obesity: In such children, the fat content is also greater and may become obese as they start ageing.
- Lesser weight: It is suggested that IVF babies usually have low birth weights when compared with babies born naturally. During later ages, an infant who is frail at birth appears to have more bad health relative to the one who is well.
- Diabetes: Children born with IVF are exposed to diabetes earlier than the normal child at the later stages of life. But it can happen after age 50 and not before.
- Neurological disorders: Such infants are also particularly likely to face autism, learning disabilities and language problems.
- High blood pressure: Children born through the assisted reproductive technique known as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as teenagers, may be at increased risk of high blood pressure.
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There are no clear statistics on the safety or risk factors correlated with IVF children’s health when potential health risks begin to approach after age 50 years. Lousie Brown, the first IVF born child, is 32 years old and therefore nothing can be said or observed unless and until the child turns 50. As of now, Lousie Brown’s health of other IVF children is pretty much the same as that of normally born children, and they do not appear to face any health disorders of any kind.
Whatever the case may be, learning about the safety of IVF babies is definitely important as more and more people opt for this treatment. For this cause, Pre-implantation embryo screening was established to learn about the same.
In addition, it is also important to note that it is not IVF but the techniques used such as excessive use of Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) may attract more IVF pregnancy disorders or IVF child health. In addition, a single infant with IVF has lower associated risks compared with multiple births.