A new U.S. study shows that babies conceived using assisted reproductive technologies have a two to four times higher rate of certain birth defects.

From the report:

  • 1.1 per cent of all the control mothers reported using ART.
  • 4.5 per cent of the control mothers aged 35 and over reported using ART.
  • Among single births, ART was linked with a 2.1 times higher rate of septal heart defects, a 2.4 times higher rate of cleft lip (with and without cleft palate), a 4.5 times higher rate of esophageal atresia (where the food pipe stops short of the stomach) and a 3.7 times higher rate of anorectal atresia (malformation of the rectum and/or anus).
  • Among multiple births, ART was not significantly linked with any of the birth defects examined by the study.

“These findings suggest that some birth defects occur more often among infants conceived with ART. Although the mechanism is not clear, couples considering ART should be informed of all potential risks and benefits.”

Author Profile

Jennifer Lahl, CBC President
Jennifer Lahl, CBC President
Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.