IVF’s sorry legacy: infertility and poor health outcomes

IVFs sorry legacy is that many IVF “babies” may inherit their parents’ fertility problems. They are also more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Although the difference between the health outcomes from IVF babies and others is small, research shows genes behave differently in IVF babies.

IVF – or in vitro fertilisation – is forbidden by the Catholic Church.

Dr Carmen Sapienza of Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia says dozens of genes involved in growth, metabolism and obesity behave differently in IVF babies.

IVF pioneer Dr Andre van Steirteghem says there are genetic causes of infertility that you can pass on.

“It means that the next generation may be infertile as well and this is something all clinics should mention to the patients.”

Van Steirteghem says parents need to be told if there is a genetic origin of infertility that this may be transmitted to the next generation.

Nearer to home in New Zealand, John Aitken,  who is a Newcastle University laureate professor, says IVF is resulting in a new new generation of infertile Australian children.

He says they will require expensive medical treatment to produce their own offspring.

One in every 25 Australian children are conceived via IVF.

Aitken also says the male offspring of aging fathers contributing sperm to IVF procedures may be more prone to cancer.

The growing number of children born as a result of IVF treatment has been paired with a growing fertility industry.

This was reported at £500M per year in the UK in a Manchester Fertility clinic blog in 2013.

The blog also reported that one in six couples struggle to reproduce naturally.



Additional reading

News category: World.