About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Could Assisted Reproduction Lower Chances Of Birth Defects Among Older Women?

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on October 17, 2016 at 11:45 PM
Font : A-A+

Could Assisted Reproduction Lower Chances Of Birth Defects Among Older Women?

Babies born to women aged 40 and over from assisted reproduction have fewer birth defects compared with those from women who conceive naturally at the same age.

According to new research from the University of Adelaide, this is contrary to widespread belief that there is greater risk of birth defects among older women due to frequent use of services for assisted conception.

Advertisement


The researchers believe this could point to the presence of more favorable biological conditions in IVF (in vitro fertilization) specific to pregnancies in older women - but they are currently working to determine the exact cause.

Published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology , the research is based on data of all live births recorded in South Australia from 1986-2002. These include more than 301,000 naturally conceived births, as well as 2200 births from IVF and almost 1400 from ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
Advertisement

The average prevalence of a birth defect was 5.7% among naturally conceived births, 7.1% for the IVF births, and 9.9% for the ICSI births, across all age groups.

In births from assisted reproduction, the prevalence of birth defects ranged from 11.3% at its highest for women less than age 30 using ICSI, down to 3.6% for women aged 40 and older using IVF. For natural conceptions, the corresponding prevalence across age groups was 5.6% in young women, increasing to 8.2% in women aged 40+.

"There's something quite remarkable occurring with women over the age of 40 who use assisted reproduction," says lead author Professor Michael Davies from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute.

"We know from our previous studies that women who undergo assisted reproduction have an increased rate of birth defects compared to women who conceive naturally. We also know that among women who conceive naturally, the rate of birth defects increases exponentially from age 35 onwards. Therefore, it was widely assumed, but untested, that maternal age would be a key factor in birth defects from assisted reproduction.

The findings challenge that assertion. They show that infertile women aged 40 and over who used assisted reproduction had less than half the rate of birth defects of fertile women of the same age, while younger women appear to be at an elevated risk.

"For women treated with IVF and ICSI combined, the greatest age-related risk of birth defects was among the young women, at or around 29 years of age. With a prevalence of 9.4%, their risk was more than double the rate of 3.6% observed for the patients aged over 40, and significantly higher than for fertile women of the same age, at 5.6%," Professor Davies says.

Professor Davies says these results could have broader implications for infertility treatment, if researchers can understand why older women do better on assisted reproduction: "There is some aspect of IVF treatment in particular that could be helping older women to redress the maternal age issues we see among natural conception, where we observe a transition at around the age of 35 years toward a steadily increasing risk of birth defects. We don't know what that is quite yet - it could be an aspect of hormonal stimulation that helps to reverse the age-related decline in control of ovulation.

More research is desperately needed in this area to understand why this is occurring, and whether it could be adapted to both fertile and infertile women in future to prevent birth defects, which continue to be a major cause of death and disability in the first year of life globally.

Professor Davies says the research also uncovered that ICSI - which currently accounts for about 70% of all assisted reproduction treatments world wide - is "particularly adverse if a woman has never had a pregnancy". These women had a birth defect rate of 11%, compared with 6.2% of women with a previous birth who used ICSI.



Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World AIDS Day 2022 - Equalize!
Test Your Knowledge on Sugar Intake and Oral Health
Test  Your Knowledge on Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Achondroplasia Club Foot Birth Defect - Genetic Birth Defects Drug-Induced Birth Defects Environmental Birth Defects Birth defects - Infections Multifactorial Birth Defects Birth Defect - Structural Defects Turner Syndrome 

Most Popular on Medindia

Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Diaphragmatic Hernia Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Blood Pressure Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements Drug Interaction Checker Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Sanatogen
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Could Assisted Reproduction Lower Chances Of Birth Defects Among Older Women? Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests