Scientists Admit IVF Has High Rate of Abnormalities

by One More Soul Staff

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By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

BONN, Germany, October 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Scientists announcing their success at achieving a new genetic defect-screening technique have at the same time admitted that many of the two-thirds of IVF embryos that fail to survive do so because of genetic abnormalities.

Luca Gianaroli, chairman of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and Cristina Magli, an embryologist from Bologna, Italy, announced their success in a study of a genetic testing procedure called “comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) by microarray,” after two women gave birth to healthy children following screening of the embryos using the technique.

However, Gianaroli said in a statement that, “We have learnt from more than 30 years of IVF that many of the embryos we transfer (into the womb) have chromosome abnormalities,” and went on to explain that two out of every three embryos implanted into a woman’s womb during the IVF procedure fail to develop into a pregnancy, often because of genetic abnormalities.

“The whole world of IVF has been trying to find an effective way of screening for these abnormalities for more than a decade,” Gianaroli said. “Now we have a new technology … and our hopes are that this will finally provide a reliable means of assessing the chromosomal status of the embryos we transfer.”

The admission by the scientists of the high rate of genetic defects inherent in the IVF procedure aligns with the high rate of over-all health problems suffered by IVF children compared to naturally conceived children.

Congenital malformation rates as high as 11% have been reported by some studies of IVF children.

A recent French study found that over 4% of children born through assisted reproductive technology had some form of congenital deformity, compared to the rate of between 2% and 3% for children conceived naturally.

A large-scale study by the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health in Helsinki, Finland, found an overall increase in poor health among IVF children, including recurring specific abnormalities such as heart diseases, cerebral palsy, and malformations of the uro-genital system.

A summary of the research published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology is available here.

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