15 June 2010

International fertility clinicians comment on reports linking assisted reproduction with increased risk of congenital malformations.

Press reports yesterday commented on the work of Viot et al*, presented at the European Society for Human Genetics conference. This works indicates an increased risk of congenital malformation posed by the use of Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART).

The International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), which is the main international body representing national societies working in the fields of fertility and contraception, is issuing the following statement.

“Assisted conception has been responsible for the birth of several million healthy babies born worldwide and is generally a safe process for both mother and baby. There have been previously reported data indicating a small but definite increase in IVF conceptions born with a congenital abnormality. It is unknown if this increase is a consequence of the ART procedures, or of the infertility which is being treated, or both.The IFFS supports continued worldwide surveillance into the outcomes of assisted conception in order to improve our understanding of these concerns. Clinicians are generally aware of this slight risk of congenital abnormalities. The IFFS fully supports clear and comprehensive information being provided to patients to enable them to make informed decisions about treatment”.

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