Study Ties Fertility Treatment, Birth Defect Risk


Marilynn Marchione
AP Chief Medical Writer
May 7, 2012

Test-tube babies have higher rates of birth defects, and doctors have long wondered: Is it because of certain fertility treatments or infertility itself? A large new study from Australia suggests both may play a role.

Compared to those conceived naturally, babies that resulted from simple IVF, or in vitro fertilization — mixing eggs and sperm in a lab dish — had no greater risk of birth defects once factors such as the mom’s age and smoking were taken into account.

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