- Published on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 13:39
- Written by Sergey Lebedev, President of the Sweetchild Group of Companies. Member of the Coordinating Council of Russian Ministry of Public Health. Member of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
I have often expressed my opinion on the numerous pseudoscientific researches on various pathologies, that IVF children are allegedly suffering – they are all trumped-up investigations, caught by different media greedy for sensations. Meanwhile, the difference between an "average" IVF child and a child conceived in a usual way, can exist, but, paradoxically, it isn’t due to the way of conception. I’ll try to explain this "phenomenon".
The differences between an average IVF child and a child conceived naturally, can really take place. It may occur due to two factors. The first one is a multiple pregnancy. As it is known, the probability of birth of twins, triplets, etc. in nature is less than 1%. At the same time, about 28% of IVF pregnancies are multiple. Any entry-level gynecologist can describe all the «amenities» of a multiple pregnancy: higher risk of premature birth, and usually weaker babies.
The second factor, the so-called scientists always forget about, is the fact that the average age of women, giving birth to a child conceived through IVF, is much higher than the age of an average pregnant woman. I won’t get into details of the reasons of this fact: they can be both social (a woman didn’t want or wasn’t able to have children earlier), and medical (she has been treating infertility for a long time by traditional means). But unfortunately we can’t cancel the relationship between the maternal age and the risk of occurrence of child diseases.
Neither the first, nor the second factor are not related to the process of conception. If one makes a correct selection (the age of the new mothers should be the same as well as the percentage of multiple and single child pregnancies), the results of the study won’t show any significant difference between IVF and "normal" children. IVF children are absolutely usual, except, perhaps, that they are very long-awaited and much-loved by their parents.