In the media

If you’ve been looking, you might’ve found some articles about IVF-lings on the web. Some of them might be fascinating, some booooring, some irritating, some confusing and some even worrying. We have listed a representative sample of the most recent articles ‘doing the rounds’ on the web.

Take note!!!...just because we listed the article, it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything or even anything it says. The aim is to provide an open forum of opinion so you can see what’s out there and then provide a comment from a Fertility Associates fertility expert to provide some balance.

Nature or nurture?

Source: New Zealand Herald 
A unique long-term study of "test-tube babies" has confirmed that parenting styles as well as genes have major effects on how children turn out... Read the full article
Fertility Expert Comment-

‘Nature versus nurture’ has been a popular topic about parenting for a long time!  In the past, adoption of identical twins into different families provided a way of trying to separate the relative influence of nature (ie. What you inherit from your parents through your genes) and nurture (ie. What you get from your parents through your upbringing).  These studies showed that a significant part of IQ, and the ‘big 5’ of personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – is inherited.


Assisted Reproductive Technology with donated eggs, donated sperm or donated embryos offers another window on impact of nature and nurture, because it is another way of separating genetics from upbringing.   This study shows parents’ behaviour (or at least some types of behaviour!) influenced the child’s behaviour, indicating upbringing is also important.   

Test-tube boys may inherit fertility problems

Source: Times Online
A new study has found that boys conceived through IVF treatment involving a single sperm being directly injected into a female egg often inherit shorter ...Read the full article
Fertility Expert Comment:-
It is believed that half the men who use IVF with ICSI have low sperm quantity and / or quality because of a genetic reason. At the moment, the actual genetic causes are unknown in most cases.

When the genes causing low sperm quality are on the Y chromosome it is likely that male children will inherit the same type of infertility as their father. However, until the actual genes are discovered, the full extent of such inheritance will not be known.

The ICSI process overrides some of the ‘checks and balances’ of natural fertilization. Overall, children conceived using ICSI have a slightly higher chance of having abnormal numbers of the X and Y chromosomes (0.6% verses 0.2%) and of other chromosomes (0.4% verses 0.07%). These types of chromosome abnormalities could also cause fertility problems when these IVF-lings want to have their own children.

Probably the best advice for men who were conceived using ICSI would be to see a fertility specialist and have a sperm test when they are considering starting a family of their own.

IVF may raise risk of diabetes, hypertension and cancer in later life

Source: The Guardian
Since the birth of the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, on 25 July 1978, more than three million babies have been born through fertility treatment around ...Read the full article
Fertility Expert Comment:-
Multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets, often lead to growth restriction and small for gestational age babies. There is good evidence that babies born growth restricted or small for gestational age are at increased risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and obesity in adulthood, so naturally doctors wonder whether the same might be true for IVF twins and triplets. There is no published research on this yet.

IVF singletons on average are also smaller and born earlier than naturally conceived singletons. However a pioneering study by Harriet Miles at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute looking at IVF children born at term after a singleton pregnancy showed that these children are taller and have a more favourable lipid profile compared to their naturally conceived peers. This study is now being extended to children conceived by using frozen-thawed embryos. This study is very reassuring about the long-term health of IVF-lings.

Several large studies overseas have looked at the incidence of cancer in children born after IVF. There is no evidence of an increase in the risk of cancer.

Fertility problems may not affect kids' coordination

Source: Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite some concerns to the contrary, parents' fertility problems may have little effect on their children's risk of ...Read the full article
Fertility Expert Comment:-
This large study is reassuring and highlights the importance of comparing similar groups of people (i.e. those children conceived through IVF and those conceived naturally from parents with a history of fertility issues) rather than comparing with the general population. 
There have been many other studies looking at intelligence and physical coordination showing no difference between IVF-lings and naturally conceived children.

IVF babies' health analysed as adults

Source: KERO-TV 23
Researchers speculated that fertility issues may cause greater stress on parents, which may result in more behavioral problems among the children...Read the full article
Fertility Expert Comment:-
The study concern raised in this study was a higher incidence of ADHD and other psychological problems in children conceived by IVF. This study must be viewed with some caution as it was a small study with only 173 people out of 560 responding to the survey and therefore may not be representative of the IVF-ling population. 

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