Children conceived with the aid of fertility treatments are more likely to be born with serious physical defects, according a study from The New England Journal of Medicine. Conception using treatments like ovulation induction, in-vitro fertilization or the injection of sperm directly into an egg, resulted in serious defects in 8.3 percent of cases studied. The corresponding ratio in spontaneous conceptions was 5.8 percent -- a "very" significant difference, according to the lead researcher.
"Something that is not often talked about in the clinic, I suspect, is the risk of having an abnormal baby. And so this emphasizes this is something that must be talked about between patients and clinicians. They must discuss the risk for this when choosing the treatment," the lead researcher was quoted saying.
The research only focused on serious defects, "things that either require treatment or if there is no treatment they are going to be considered handicapping", like a heart condition or cerebral palsy.