Boston (ChatterShmatter)- The Center for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) released a study on Monday revealing findings that showed babies conceived using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) had a higher frequency of birth defects than those conceived naturally.
The researchers doing the study compiled data from more than 14,000 infants 281 of which were conceived using ART.
The study revealed that single births as a result of ART were twice as likely to result in some form of a birth defect such as heart or gastrointestinal problems as compared to those conceived naturally. The overall risk while still very low, is estimated at 1 in 1,000 births for natural conception versus 1 in 500 when fertility assistance is used.
An interesting side note is that while the risks are increased for single births as a result of fertility treatment, this was not the case when the conception resulted in multiple births. Multiple births are also increased when fertility drugs are used to improve the chances of getting pregnant.
Additional research into the “whys” behind this finding are being carried out to determine just what it is that causes the increased risk with the hope of reducing this in future studies.
The Journal of Human Reproduction has published this study.