The procedure of in vitro fertilization for many couples is the only chance to conceive a child, to become happy parents and to make a dream come true. But tormented by doubts about the health of future children future parents are sometimes frightened so much that it is impossible to decide on IVF. Giving birth to children after the IVF is a sensitive issue; a lot of negative response can be heard and read. But what are things in reality, what does science say about this and what are real examples from life?
Lisa Brown from England has initiated successful attempts at in vitro fertilization. She is the IVF girl who became the first child to be born successfully from a test tube in 1978. Subsequently, over incomplete forty years more than 5 million children were born with the help of such a breakthrough in reproductive technologies as the IVF procedure.
To the great regret, however progressive is the world in which revolutions in science, technologies, views take place children after the IVF for many people remain something unnatural. But in reality the only difference of such children from those conceived naturally is in the history of their parents’ illness. Most of the arguments about the fact that they are born inferior and with different pathologies are based on various conjectures and assumptions.
IVF planning, other than medical aspects – examination and diagnosis, preparatory treatment and virtually fertilization followed by fetus transplantation often include moral aspects as well. Somebody is hampered by religion, somebody by public opinion; some have unreasonable fears and prejudices. But children born after the IVF are always wanted, loved and have health problems similar to those of all other children, neither more nor less. And it is the fact that in today’s world all children are generally sick more often and their illnesses are more complicated that warrants study.
Perhaps one of the biggest fears frightening future parents is the fear that children after the IVF are infertile. This myth is successfully debunked by the abovementioned Lisa Brown who is the happy mother of two babies conceived naturally. A striking example that refutes the fear of infertility is also Elena Dontsova the first IVF child in the USSR who also conceived and gave birth to a baby. And it takes much longer than 40 years to assert with confidence that IVF children will not be able to have offspring.
Birth of sick children after the IVF is not due to the very procedure of in vitro fertilization but to the attendant factors. It is necessary to clearly understand that married couples with various problems which in fact do not allow them to conceive children themselves resort to ART. Therefore, certain pathologies may occur with children’s health. Often the disease is simply inherited.
The average age of the IVF mother is 35 years and more. This situation in general for a woman in labor is considered not too favorable and carries in itself possible risks for the normal course of pregnancy, course of birth and fetus itself. But the existing pre-implantation diagnosis of the embryo which makes it possible to identify possible severe pathogens at such an early stage, just “plays into the hands” of the IVF pregnancy.
A variety of large-scale studies conducted around the world sometimes contradict each other and themselves. One of the latest conducted in the US claims that children conceived with the help of IVF have 2 to 4 times increased risk of harelip, pathologies with the cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract.
Other foreign studies do not find differences in mental, physical, psychological development between children conceived naturally and through ART. Therewith, the risk of certain cancers increases. But with the allowance! The initial health of parents, their bad habits, age of the mother and the level of environmental impact were not taken into account during the study. The risks are balanced after taking into account these aspects.
Such “popular” complications of IVF pregnancy as premature birth, low birth weight, increased risk of fetal hypoxia and caesarean section can be accurately predicted in ordinary pregnant women. There is no official confirmatory data on this subject. The thing is not in the IVF procedure but in the cause of infertility, health and way of life of spouses.
In vitro fertilization is a fairly young direction in medicine as in science. Therefore, the genuine interest of doctors and scientists to how IVF children grow, consequences of the procedure on their health is so great. It is logical to assume that if they try to find all sorts of abnormalities and abnormalities of development in all children today with such fervor and care they would undoubtedly find them.