In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Does IVF Increase the Risk of Fetal Cardiac Defects?

Does IVF Increase the Risk of Fetal Cardiac Defects?

In the United States, approximately 1.5% of all births involve the use of assisted reproductive technologies or in vitro fertilization (IVF). While assisted reproductive technologies are considered to be very safe, individuals going through IVF understandably have questions about the health and development of children conceived through IVF. In particular, does IVF increase the risk of fetal cardiac defects?

What Kind of Medications Are Used for IVF?

Three major medication protocols are used to boost your reproductive potential by stimulating your ovaries to make more eggs. Ironically, most of these protocols begin with birth control pills to help stabilize your hormonal profile, minimize miscarriage rate, and provide some control over your cycle.

These protocols also include daily injections under the skin through a very small needle. Next, you will be prescribed a stimulatory medication similar to a hormone your body naturally makes but at a higher concentration. These medications are taken to prepare your body to begin the final egg maturation process and ovulation.

IVF Does Not Increase the Risk of Fetal Cardiac Defects

A recent study looked specifically at the incidence of fetal cardiac defects and found no increased risk of cardiac anomalies in babies conceived with IVF compared to babies conceived naturally. This study looked at over 180,000 live births, over 2,200 of which were IVF pregnancies. The results study showed that, in the absence of risk factors, rates of congenital heart defects were no different in IVF pregnancies compared to the general population. These results are very reassuring and are consistent with previous studies in this area.

Contact Us

We are very proud of our IVF program at Fertility Centers of New England (FCNE). IVF is one of the safest, most effective ways to help patients with infertility achieve their dream of building a family. If you are interested in learning more about your fertility or have further questions like does IVF increase the risk of fetal cardiac defects, please contact us for a free initial consultation. We are here to help.

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