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Are IVF Babies Healthy?

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

Such is the human course of life, that once a child grows up to an adult, he or she settles down in the holy bond of marriage with someone from the opposite sex. Now, after some time of marriage, the couple is expected to produce an offspring and nurture him or her till the little one becomes an adult and the cycle continues.

On a sad note, not everyone is lucky to conceive a child in the natural way. In such a situation, what people go for is the aid of technology. These days, with things like in vitro fertilization coming into the picture, it is possible for a barren couple to have children of their own, without having to queue in front of orphanages and adoption homes.

are ivf babies healthy

However, even today, there are a certain number of prejudices about children born from these procedures. One of the most prevalent questions in this regard is whether these children are as healthy as that of their counterparts who are born the normal way.

This article aims to answer that question. Continue reading to know more on this.

• Multiple Embryo Transfer

What happens in IVF is that the embryos are transferred artificially into a woman's body and they wait for the same to fertilize. Now, not all the embryos that are transferred are expected to fertilize. In order to increase the chance of fertilization and thereby getting pregnant, many organizations offering IVF treatment actually transfer multiple embryos at a time.

As a result of this, sometimes it so happens that the woman concerned ends up carrying multiples. Just like the case of natural pregnancies, children of multiple pregnancies are often delivered earlier than that of singleton pregnancies. This may cause them to have issues like low birth weight.

However, usually this sort of a thing does not affect the long-term health of the babies and they are seen to grow into healthy adults and live long and fruitful lives, just like anyone else.

• Neonatal Issues

It is important for an individual to understand that IVF is a means by which an embryo is helped to fertilize. Once that is done successfully, the woman concerned gets pregnant. From that point on, things progress like they would normally do in a pregnancy.

The child develops like he or she would normally do. Hence, after he or she is born, in most cases, he/she is seen as having a healthy birth weight. The initial growth parameters in a newborn's life are also seen to be met in a manner that is identical to that of children born by natural means.

Thus, the health issues of your newborn child are not something that you must be worried about only because he or she is born via IVF.

• Fertility Issues

It is important for us to realize that IVF is something that has been going around for quite some time now and the first IVF-born babies are now in their 30s and many of them are parents (or are trying to be parents) themselves.

It is seen that children born from IVF often have fertility issues themselves and find it difficult to conceive their own kids. This is particularly true in case of male kids. However, it is important for us to understand here that the reason for the same may be attributed to their genetic infertility and not the treatment that their parents had opted for.

The same has been confirmed by the experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics Nation Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

• Genetic Disorder

The genetic trait in an individual is something that is determined by Epigenetics. These are mechanisms that regulate the genes. Based on whether the genes are activated or silenced, control is switched in these Epigenetics.

The period of time between conception and birth is something that is stored in great details in Epigenetics. In the later years, these Epigenetics have a significant say in the health of an individual. Research in this field has confirmed that there is no correlation between IFV and Epigentics.

This means that simply because your child has been conceived via IVF, it does not mean that he or she will be at a higher risk of genetic disorders. The chances of genetic disorders remain unaltered, irrespective of whether the child is conceived via IVF or by natural means.

• Mental Retardation Issues

Over the years in the last three decades, IVF has become more and more popular. As of 2018, there are more than 5 million people in this world who owe their lives to this miracle of medical technology. Among them, the proportion of babies suffering from mental retardation or autism is same as that of their counterparts who were conceived the natural way.

Thus, it will be fair on our part to say that there is not really any correlation between mental retardation and IVF births. Children born from IVF treatments are just as healthy as anyone else.

• Higher Risk Of Cancer

Researchers at the prestigious Ben Gurion University of Israel have studied over 2 lakh kids (born from IVF procedures and otherwise), in order to find traces of any 'malignancies' in those who were not conceived naturally. They have confirmed that a child who is born through an IVF procedure is 2.5 times more likely to develop neoplasms as compared to his or her counterpart who is conceived naturally.

These neoplasms may be observed in him or her in the first decade of life itself. For those who are unaware, neoplasms are abnormal tissue growths that are usually associated with cancer. Thus, while there is no assurance that all the children who are born through IVF will develop cancer at some point or the other in their lives, the fact remains that they will always be at a higher risk of development of malignant tissues.

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