Are Babies Conceived Through IVF Healthy? Debunking Misconceptions
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is whether babies conceived through this method are healthy. Many people wonder if there’s a higher chance of abnormalities or health issues in children born as a result of IVF.
In this blog, we will address these concerns and provide you with accurate, evidence-based information on the health of IVF-conceived babies.
A Brief History
The first test-tube baby was born in 1978 as a result of IVF due to the mother’s fallopian tubes being blocked. That baby is now over 40 years old and has given birth to three healthy children, all conceived naturally. This example alone should help to alleviate some concerns about the health of babies born through IVF.
However, let’s delve deeper into this topic to provide a comprehensive understanding.
It is essential to understand that if an embryo experiences any issues due to human error, infection, or air quality, it is unlikely to develop properly. If it does develop, its grade may not be considered suitable for implantation. Therefore, the notion that IVF can result in abnormalities should be discarded.
According to various studies, the percentage of abnormal pregnancies in natural conception is around 4%. In IVF cases, this number is slightly higher at 7-8%. However, this difference can be attributed to the generally higher age of patients undergoing IVF and the presence of intrinsic factors that may contribute to abnormalities in babies.
Chromosomal or genetic defects in sperm or eggs can result in abnormal babies, but this risk is present in both natural pregnancies and IVF-conceived pregnancies. The development of an embryo, whether naturally conceived or through IVF, starts with a single cell that divides through cell division. If a small part of a chromosome is lost or an unequal division occurs, chromosomal disorders may result. However, the chances of this happening are the same in both IVF and natural pregnancies.
Emphasizing the Positive
IVF is a medical breakthrough that has provided countless couples with the opportunity to become parents. It is crucial to let go of misconceptions surrounding the health of babies conceived through IVF and not allow these concerns to overshadow the potential benefits of this life-changing procedure.
Rest assured that once you conceive a baby through IVF, your healthcare team will perform all necessary scans and tests, such as double marker, NIPT, and triple marker tests, to ensure your baby is healthy and normal.
These tests provide valuable information on any potential anomalies or genetic defects, allowing you to have confidence in your child’s well-being.
In conclusion, the risks associated with the health of babies conceived through IVF are similar to those in natural conception. It is important to focus on the incredible opportunity that IVF provides for couples who may otherwise be unable to have children. Stay informed, trust in the expertise of your healthcare team, and remember that a healthy and happy baby is the ultimate goal for everyone involved.
If you have any questions or concerns about IVF and the health of babies conceived through this process, please feel free to reach out to us. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team is here to support you in your journey to parenthood.
Dr. Supriya Puranik
Gynaecologist & IVF Specialist
Often known as the last glimmer of hope for people who have lost all hope for conceiving a child, Dr. Supriya Puranik is a leading gynaecologist, high risk obstetrician and Head of IVF & Gynaecology department at Ankura Hospital for Women & Children.
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