Examining the Possible Risks to Baby

'What's the risk of IVF to my baby?' is the most common question asked by couples considering IVF. To date more than two million children have been born as a result of IVF, so doctors have a lot of reliable information with which to answer this question. Mostly the news is good, but there are some adverse outcomes that, rare as they are, are more common among IVF children than children in general. This is often because multiple births are more common with IVF, but it's impossible to exclude the possibility that the IVF technique itself may also contribute to the increased risks.

Some extremely unusual conditions, such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), appear to be more common with IVF than with spontaneous conception. Children born with BWS experience overgrowth in certain parts of their body — most commonly the tongue and abdominal wall — and can have very low blood sugar levels and ear abnormalities. An Australian study found that whereas the overall incidence of BWS is one in every 35,000 children born, the risk of BWS with IVF is about four in every 15,000 children born.

Of course, you need to be well informed and understand the risks involved in any medical procedure before going ahead with it, but it's also important to remember that the vast majority of children, including those conceived in a lab through IVF, are born healthy and grow up without any major health problems.

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