Do IVF babies have low birth weight
To begin with, it is critical to understand that the greatest danger of IVF is the potential of multiple pregnancies (twins or more) from transferring more than one embryo. Because of our exceptional success with blastocyst culture, we have been able to transfer fewer embryos with higher pregnancy rates. A blastocyst is the embryonic stage that occurs approximately five days after conception, when the cells separate to form the embryo and the placenta.
It is also vital to recognise that infertile couples have a higher risk of having a child with an abnormality, even if they conceive on their own. This is because infertile couples are for most periods infertile because something is wrong with their eggs or sperm. This may result in a slightly increased risk of having a child with an anomaly. Men with extremely low sperm counts are at an even greater risk of having a genetic defect that could be passed on to their children.
The importance of genetic testing in reducing birth abnormalities
The good news is that preimplantation genetic screening can often be used to address genetic issues (PGS). Many chromosomal abnormalities can be detected via IVF. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), another genetic screening tool, can look for a specific genetic condition, such as muscular dystrophy, if we know the parent(s) are at risk of harbouring that disease.
We can use PGS and PGD to detect genetically defective IVF embryos that would result in birth abnormalities or a failed pregnancy and avoid implanting them in the mother. Following a successful pregnancy in which genetic testing was not employed, other methods of early pregnancy screening, such as amniocentesis, can discover the majority of the small percentage of IVF kids who do have an issue.
IVF birth disorders vs general birth defects
Many of the studies that demonstrate an increased risk of congenital defects with IVF are constrained by methodological and statistical challenges. Patients undergoing IVF are generally older than the overall fertile population, and older females are more likely to have a genetic defect.
Because congenital anomalies are uncommon, scientific research involving a large number of births are required to determine whether or not there is a link. It is critical to compare the number of abnormalities in children born from IVF to the number of abnormalities in children born to infertile couples who did not receive treatment, rather than to the general population.
In the general fertile population, the likelihood of having a kid with a birth defect is about 3-5 percent. The best current estimate is that the birth defect rate increases by about 1% after an IVF cycle.
A number of studies have found that infertile couples, whether they conceive on their own or through other non-IVF treatments, have the same increased risk of birth abnormalities as those who undergo IVF.
Couples receiving ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) may also be at slightly increased risk of having a child with an anomaly than the couples undergoing standard IVF therapy. This is most likely due to an increase in chromosome abnormalities in men with very low sperm counts. Recent research indicates that if the sperm count is relatively normal, ICSI has little effect on birth abnormalities.
Birth malformations caused by IVF and infant development
IVF has been related to a rare set of disorders known as “Imprinting Disorders.” Imprinting diseases are hypothesised to be caused by improper expression of a maternal or paternal gene during early embryo development. At the moment, the estimated chance of an imprinting disease with IVF is 2-5 per 15,000, while the general population risk is 1 in 15,000.
The vast majority of studies to date have found that neonatal growth in infants conceived through IVF is normal. Premature birth, which is more common in multiple pregnancies, is the leading cause of newborn developmental issues (twins etc.).
The good news is that IVF can help many couples who would otherwise be infertile have children. Overall, the vast majority of children born after IVF are normal. Genetic testing and technology advancements have also increased our ability to discover genetic disorders early. Couples considering IVF should talk to their doctor about genetic testing alternatives to see if this service is right for them.
Is a low birth weight harmful to the baby?
Yes. Babies that weigh less than they should at birth are more likely to have health problems than babies whose weight is appropriate. Some require specialised care in a hospital’s newborn intensive care unit (NICU) to treat medical issues. These are some examples:
- Respiratory issues, such as respiratory distress syndrome (also called RDS). Babies with RDS lack surfactant, a substance that prevents little air sacs in the baby’s lungs from collapsing. Surfactant treatment allows these babies to breathe more readily. Babies with RDS may also require oxygen and other breathing assistance in order for their lungs to function properly.
- There is bleeding in the brain (also called intraventricular haemorrhage or IVH). The majority of brain bleeds are minor and resolve on their own. More serious bleeding can put pressure on the brain, causing fluid to accumulate. This can result in brain damage. A surgeon may put a catheter into the baby’s brain to remove the fluid in some circumstances.
- Patent ductus arteriosus is a condition in which the ductus arteriosus is not closed. When an opening between two major blood arteries leading from the heart does not seal properly, this is known as patent ductus arteriosus. This can result in an increase in blood flow to the lungs. The opening closes on its own in many neonates with patent ductus arteriosus within a few days of birth. Some babies require medication or surgery to close the gap.
- Necrotizing enterocolitis is a kind of necrotizing enterocolitis. This is an issue in the intestines of a baby. The intestines are a series of lengthy tubes that form part of the digestive system. The digestive system aids the body in the breakdown of food. Necrotizing enterocolitis can be risky for a baby, causing feeding difficulties, belly enlargement, and other consequences. Babies with necrotizing enterocolitis are given antibiotics and are fed through an intravenous (IV) tube. Some babies require surgery to remove damaged intestinal sections.
- Prematurity retinopathy. This eye ailment occurs when a baby’s retinas do not grow fully in the weeks following birth.
- Jaundice. This is a disorder in which a baby’s eyes and skin seem yellow. It is caused by an excess of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood.
- Infections. The immune system defends the body against infection. When a kid is delivered too soon, his or her immune system may not be formed properly and may be unable to fight illness. Schedule your appointment with the World IVF centre.