Health Impacts of IVF on the Kids

What are the short and long term impacts of an IVF conception? Does IVF affect the health (positively or negatively) of the children conceived. Host Dawn DavenportExecutive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility education and support nonprofit talks with Dr. Paolo Rinaudo, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF. He is an MD PhD researching in the area of how IVF affects the children conceived.

Hit the Highlights
  • Obviously, the IVF environment is different than a natural conception, but it might help to start with what the early the environment of an embryo is like with natural conception.

  • What is conception like with IVF and how does it differ from IVF conception?

  • How can these changes impact the children conceived both in childhood and later in life.

  • Physician and epidemiologist David Parker did some of the early research on how very early environments could impact humans much later in life.

  • What does research show on malnutrition of mothers very early in pregnancy or before pregnancy. What if the environment changes quickly. Are children less impacted? How does this relate to in vitro fertilization and the media used?

  • What are some of the impacts that research has found on children conceived via IVF?

  • What are some of the longer term impacts that research has found may affect children conceived by IVF?

  • Does the use of Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) lower these risks? Conversely, is there any evidence to suggest that it is another possibly detrimental change from the natural environment?

  • Currently, we measure “success” as the birth of a healthy singleton. Should we expand or change or definition?

  • What changes have been made to IVF procedures to more closely to mimic the mother’s body?

  • Culture medium

  • Day 3 vs Day 5 transfer

  • Is the location of where an embryo implants different depending on whether it is IVF or natural conception?

  • Invocell- in vivo maturation

  • Increased use of ICSI

  • Freeze all cycles

  • Less disturbance of embryos

  • Why is there not a lot of research on long-term impact of IVF.

  • Environmental exposures in early pregnancy to avoid. What can patients do before and during pregnancy to give their child that best chance of a healthy life?

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Thorsten Frenzel