Risk of Birth Defects Increased With Certain IVF Treatment

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 5/14/2012 8:14 am
We're learning more about the relationship between in vitro fertilization and birth defects, and the risks associated with a particular type of treatment.

A new Australian study finds a slightly greater risk of birth defects for pregnancies conceived by a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, but there was no greater risk by IVF alone.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide analyzed records of nearly 6,200 births resulting from assisted conception.

Results show, although a large majority of births were free of birth defects, there was an association between treatment with ICSI and an increased risk of birth defects.

Researchers hope the findings can help provide guidance in counseling women who are considering treatment for infertility.

Doctors say it's important for couples to remember the risks are low.

Complete findings for this study are in the "New England Journal of Medicine."

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