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IVF has realized so many people's desires to become parents that it is almost impossible to imagine the world without it. Yet, research keeps revealing new potential pitfalls, and the latest is an increased risk of asthma. Read on to find out more about the new findings. Researchers from the British universities of Oxford and Essex look at data from more than 13,000 UK children, from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Those five-year old kids who were conceived with the help of IVF and other fertility treatments were twice as likely to suffer from asthma, and also much more likely to need medications for it.

The UK Millennium Cohort Study, from which this study's data was taken, is tracking almost 19,000 British children who were all born between 2000 and 2002. This study is unique because there is information about everything from conception methods, asthma, and potential influencing factors like social circumstances to lifestyle. The researchers in this particular study used the data to look at children when they were aged five and seven, and who were singletons (no twins or triplets). Dr Claire Carson, one of the researchers, explained that 15 percent of all the children studied suffer from asthma, but that this figure rises to 24 percent for those children who were conceived with medical assistance. There were 105 such children in the data the team analyzed. Before you think this is a reason to think twice about IVF, Dr Carson added: "Assisted reproduction technologies offer a chance to become a parent when there isn't another option.

For the majority of children asthma is quite manageable." Kids who were conceived through Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) were at the highest risk of ending up with asthma, wheezing, or on anti-asthmatic medications. These children were between two and four times as likely as others to suffer from this type of respiratory problem. The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction, if you would like to read it. The research team is very quick to point out that it is not clear whether IVF and other assisted reproduction techniques actually cause a higher asthma rate. The findings could be linked to genetics just as easily.

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