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CHILDREN AFTER IN VITRO FERTILIZATION: An Overview of the Literature

  • Simone E. Buitendijk (a1)

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the effects of in vitro fertilization (IVF) on the children born from it. One of the main problems with IVF to date remains the high incidence of multiple pregnancies, which carry an inherent higher risk of preterm delivery and, therefore, of increased morbidity and mortality in newborns. Further, singleton pregnancies and twin pregnancies from IVF compared to control singleton or twin pregnancies appear to be at higher risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Whether this is an effect of the procedure per se or is related to maternal factors, or a combination of both, remains to be studied. The risk of congenital malformations does not, with the available data, seem to be elevated. As of now, it remains unclear whether embryo freezing is a safe procedure. Psychomotor development of children born through IVF does not seem to be disturbed. Until further and more extensive studies are conducted, it remains unclear whether IVF poses long-term risks for the children.

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