Human Reproduction, a respected medical journal, published a story which said in-vitro (IVF) children suffer many illnesses common to all children, but they are more likely to suffer ailments connected to the brain and immune system.
The news may increase fears over fertility treatments. Previous studies have shown that young men conceived via IVF are more likely to be infertile. A British study showed that IVF twins require more hospital treatment than kids from single births. And IVF babies are more likely to suffer from birth defects, including heart problems. It’s also possible they are at higher risk of autism and cerebral palsy.
No one’s sure what causes the problems in IVF children. One possibility is that the technique of fertilizing and growing young embryos in the lab somehow disrupts their normal development, resulting in problems later on.
Also, parents with genetic disposition to disease or ailments can pass along detrimental genetic sequences to their babies. And, infertile mothers may be more likely to have health difficulties during pregnancy – which can affect their children.
On the other hand, some findings are reassuring. For example, the evidence does not show any increase in major birth malformations, cancer or psychological development.