Posts Tagged ‘ ICSI ’

Report: Number of IVF Births Hits 5 Million

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The number of babies born worldwide via in-vitro fertilization and other methods of assisted reproduction has reached 5 million, a report by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has found.  Yahoo! News has more:

“It means that this technology has been highly successful in treating infertile patients,” David Adamson, director of Fertility Physicians of Northern California, said in a statement. “Millions of families with children have been created, thereby reducing the burden of infertility,” said Adamson, who is also ICMART chairman.

In the United States alone, some 10 percent of women (6.1 million) ages 15 to 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But infertility isn’t just a woman’s issue. A 2002 CDC study found 7.5 percent of all sexually experienced men (about 3.3 to 4.7 million) had sought help having a child at some time during their lifetime; of the men who sought fertility help, 18.1 percent were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems.

The biggest drawbacks to assisted reproductive technologies have been the time they take, the costs involved and the possibility of multiple births. A 2009 report detailed in the journal Human Reproduction suggests multiple births associated with ART have been on the decline, with Europe and Australia-New Zealand leading the way in the reduction of multiples.

(Multiple births, rather than being seen as a success, are considered a serious medical complication with potentially harmful effects for both babies and mom; these include pregnancy complications, premature births, low birthweight babies and even infant death, according to the CDC.)

Recent research has found that ICSI, in which a single sperm is injected into an egg, was associated with a higher risk of birth defects, not all of which could be explained by factors such as maternal age. Nevertheless, many babies born from assisted reproductive technologies turn out healthy.

“The technology has improved greatly over the years to increase pregnancy rates. The babies are as healthy as those from other infertile patients who conceive spontaneously,” Adamson said in a statement.

Image: Embryologist in lab, via Shutterstock

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Study: Fertility Treatments May Raise Birth Defect Risk

Monday, May 7th, 2012

A new study conducted by researchers in Australia is investigating the question of whether women who experience infertility and undergo medical treatments to become pregnant face a higher rate of birth defects–and if so, whether the heightened risk is due to the drugs used during treatment or because of the underlying causes of the infertility itself. has more:

Australian researchers looked at medical records nearly 300,000 babies born in Australia — more than 4,000 of whom were conceived through an assisted fertility method — to see if babies born using the various assisting methods were more likely to have birth defects than babies who were conceived naturally.

Eight percent of the babies conceived through assistance were born with birth defects such as heart, genital, kidney, lung and muscle problems, compared to nearly 6 percent of babies who were conceived naturally, the study found. Those conceived through fertility assistance were also more likely to have cerebral palsy.

The study found that the most elevated risk was in patients who had a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a single sperm is injected into an egg.  In vitro fertilization (IVF) patients did not appear to have an elevated risk.

“The fact that the patient has had a problem getting pregnant only slightly increases the risk to having a healthy pregnancy, but going through IVF isn’t going to raise that risk any further,” Dr. James Goldfarb, director of the Fertility Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland told ABC.

Image: Embryology lab, via Shutterstock.

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