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There have been several reports in the news over the last few weeks that IVF significantly increases the risk of birth defects, and some researchers say that every person who is considering IVF as a method to get pregnant should be warned about the chance of having a baby with birth defects. A new French study looked at records of 15,000 children born through IVF, from 33 different fertility clinics. There discovery was quite shocking over four percent of the children they looked at had some kind of birth defect. That is compared to two or three percent of the general population, according to previous studies.

Dr Geraldine Viot, who was part of the research team, said: "This higher rate was due in part to an excess of heart diseases and malformations of the urogenital system. This was much more common in boys. Among the minor malformations, we found a five times higher rate of angioma, benign tumors made up of small blood vessels on or near the surface of the skin. These occurred more than twice as frequently in girls than boys."

There are several possible reasons for this, the scientists who conducted the study said. It rate of birth defects is not just due to the IVF treatment itself, but also because many women who undergo the treatment are older, something that could play a large part in the reasons behind the birth defects. Unfortunately, though, the real reasons behind the elevated birth defect rate remains unknown. This raises some serious questions about IVF, and will force medical professionals, as well as the general population, to reassess what we really know about IVF and the safety of the procedure.

What do you think? Is IVF safe or not? If your doctor would tell you that you can have IVF, but your baby would be at a higher risk of being born with birth defects of some kind, would you still agree to undergo the procedure? IVF as a procedure is about 30 years old now. If this kind of thing is only coming to light, then what else are we not aware of?

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