More than five million children have come into the world thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART).1 Will they—or their mothers—have any increased long-term health risks?
The picture is still somewhat incomplete—largely because it’s difficult to tell whether other social, environmental, or medical factors such as multiple births are influencing outcomes. However, studies presented at the recent 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) provided mostly reassuring findings—for both children and mothers.
Low overall birth defects. Between 2004 and 2008, researchers examined more than 300,000 births in Massachusetts—including 11,000 children (3.8 percent) conceived with the help of reproductive technology. These ART-conceived children had slightly higher rates of cardiac and non-cardiac birth defects than children, but their overall rates of birth defects were low.2