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IVF is an increasingly common artificial reproductive technique, but how safe is it really? According to a team of British experts, IVF increases the risk of congenital birth defects, low birth weight babies, and premature births as well as twin and higher multiple births, which was already common knowledge.  IVF births now make up over one percent of total births in the United Kingdom now. Despite the increased risk, the researchers from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists did note that the majority of children born through IVF is totally healthy. The team said that the risk of complications was directly related to the number of fetuses that implanted. The Royal College's Scientific Advisory Committee declared: "About one in four of all IVF pregnancies result in a multiple birth in the UK owing to the common practice of replacing two or three embryos."

The report also said that there is a significantly higher rate of premature births with IVF, and noted that 5 percent of the general population had birth defects, while IVF-lings have a three times higher instance. Parents who have had children with the help of IVF must be quite worried when they read all the negative reports about medical risks and IVF. But there is some good news, too. The researchers said that there doesn't appear to be an increased risk of health problems by age 12, and they did say that most IVF kids ended up being totally healthy. What could explain the higher risk of complications? Well, according to the report, a number of factors play a role. "The poor birth outcomes and complications may be a combination of treatment and underlying features of the couple such as older maternal age. However, treatment strategies can be altered to improve outcomes such as the adoption of elective single embryo transfer."

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