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Fewer Birth Defects for Older Moms Who Have Fertility Treatments

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:27:36 +0000

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Australian researchers assumed that older women who conceive a baby through assisted reproduction is having bigger chances to have a baby without any birth defects, then those who do this naturally.

The results of this study is a big challenge for researchers at the University of Adelaide, as they are persuaded that assisted reproduction is expanding a chance for all women to have a baby with birth defects.

Michael Davies (the leader and author of the study) had interview in university news release, and he said that women who are getting pregnant with assisted reproduction after their 40′s are facing something extraordinary.

The researchers checked the data for children who were born in South Australia between 1986 and 2002. This research covered more than 301,000 naturally conceived births, 2,200 in vitro fertilization (IVF) births and nearly 1,400 births from intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) children.

IVF is occurred when a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm are joined together in a laboratory, with the help of a special dish and conditions that are conducive for fertilization. In ICSI method they take the sperm and inject it directly into woman’s egg. As soon as the egg is fertilized, they place it in uterus.

If to check the statistics data for women of all ages who get pregnant naturally, we can see that the risk of birth defects for them are near 6 %. The risk of birth issues for those women who conceive a baby using IVF is 7 %. This percentage is growing for those who used ICSI births, and as it is 10 %.

Absolutely different picture is visible if to check the births by maternal age. Researchers find out that women who are younger than 30 are having a high 11 percent risks of birth defects if they are using ICSI to conceive. While it is much lower of 3.6 % for women who have their 40 and older but are choosing IVF method to conceive a baby.

Analysis for naturally conceived births showed that woman who is 40 and older is having 8 percent risks for birth defects, while young woman is having only 5.6 percent.

Davies said that researches that were made previously showed that women who is conceiving a baby through the assisted reproduction is having a higher risk of birth defects then those who conceive naturally. Also there is an information that the rate of birth issues for naturally conceived pregnancies are growing exponentially from age 35 for women.

So he said that the maternal age can be a main key for understanding the issue and risks of birth defects in assisted reproduction. But it has not been tested yet, so it is just a presumption.

Davies also said that their work research is a big challenge for that presumption. The findings showed that the rate of birth defects is half lower for those women who applied assisted reproduction in their age of 40 and over, while women who are younger are in a very hight risks.

The study authors said that this issue needs more researches and updates, to define the causes for this finding.


The study was published Oct. 17 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on assisted reproductive technology.