A recent study done in Sweden has revealed that babies born via IVF (in vitro fertilisation) are 45 per cent more likely to die before their first birthday.
IVF is one of the most common methods of assistive reproductive technology. In simple terms, the mature eggs are taken from a mother and mixed with the sperm of the father in a lab. The fertilised eggs grow in the lab and the cell division takes place, transforming into embryos. The embryos are then put back in the uterus of the mother. If the embryos attach to the lining of the uterus, the baby grows inside the womb.
The researchers of the study compared the death rates of babies born via assistive reproductive technology with the babies conceived naturally and the result showed that the babies conceived through artificial techniques had more than twice the risk of dying in the first few weeks after birth.
The reason behind this was stated as, babies made from frozen embryos have weak immunity system as they are often born prematurely.
The study also emphasised that the overall risk of death of babies across all groups was very small.
The study that was done by Karolinska Institute in Sweden had taken the data from 2.8 million babies born in Sweden over a period of 30 years. Out of these babies, 43,500 were born via assisted reproduction.
Among the 2.8 million babies 7,236 babies died before they turned one and out of these 114 babies were the product of assisted reproduction.
After adjusting various factors such as the age of the parents, the researchers concluded that the babies born via assisted reproduction methods had a 45 per cent higher risk of death.
They further mentioned that this number varied with different techniques. Lead researcher, Professor Anastasia Nyman Iliadou said, “Our results indicate that the kind of assisted reproductive technique used may make a difference, and therefore it is important to further investigate what causes or underlying mechanisms are behind the risks. They also show the need for extra attention and care of children conceived with IVF, especially during the first week of life.”
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