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Is IVF technology safe?

Popular science articles | Release date:2018-05-12


Since 1978, with the birth of the world's first test-tube baby Louis brown in the UK, there have been nearly 5 million test tube babies in the world. When people are more interested in IVF, they are more concerned about the safety of IVF technology and whether it will have an impact on children's intelligence and emotional intelligence? According to the development of IVF in the past 40 years and many scientific researches, IVF is safe, which is an important reason why Dr. Robert G. Edwards, the father of IVF, won the Nobel Prize. Next, let's take a look at some security issues in the use of IVF technology.


1、Is IVF technology harmful to women?

In the use of IVF technology, it is necessary to use ovation induction technology, which often stimulates the development of multiple follicles at the same time. If the number of follicles developed at the same time is too much, it will cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, that is, abdominal distention, ascites, urine less, and other symptoms and signs. The reason for these symptoms is that some women are too sensitive to ovulation, promoting drugs, and other reasons. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is a self-healing disease. Therefore, most women do not need special treatment for this disease, and only a very few patients need to be hospitalized for treatment after the recovery is good. In recent years, with the gradual optimization of clinical programs, as well as the reduction of the dosage of ovulation promoting drugs, this phenomenon is also decreasing year by year. Another side effect of IVF technology is multiple precedences. Multiple pregnancies not only increase the physical burden of pregnant women during pregnancy but also easily causes premature delivery, abortion, and various obstetric complications, which will bring physical and mental trauma to pregnant women. However, with the development of single embryo transfer, this situation will decrease gradually.


2、Is there an increase in birth defects in IVF babies compared to those born naturally?

The parents of their children are very concerned about their birth defects. The reason for the slightly higher birth defect rate of IVF is that women who use IVF to assist pregnancy generally have adverse factors such as older age, more primary diseases, and so on. These factors will affect the development of embryo and fetus, and correspondingly increase the genetic defects of infants. At present, there are different reports about the birth defect rate of IVF, and there is great controversy about whether it will increase the birth defect rate. For the second-generation IVF technology (i.e., intracytoplasmic sperm injection technology), this method is to inject sperm into the egg, and many people are worried that it is easy to damage the egg, resulting in abnormal development of the child. However, in most studies, this technology has not been found to increase birth defects. Only a few literatures have reported on it. There was a slight increase in the rate of undescended testis in boys born through the application of the second-generation IVF technology, but the disease could be solved by a small surgery. In recent years, people have begun to realize the influence of in vitro culture on gene post-formation modification of embryos. Some rare imprinted gene diseases, such as Beckwith Wiedemann syndrome and Angelman syndrome, are related to IVF technology. However, the total incidence of these imprinted gene diseases is less than 1:12000, and the probability is very low. In some aspects, in vitro infants can even reduce the probability of genetic diseases. For example, by using the third generation IVF technology, i.e., genetic disease diagnosis before embryo implantation, many human genetic diseases can be avoided from passing on to offspring. For example, thalassemia, congenital stupidity, and so on. This is not possible with natural conception.

It can be seen that IVF technology has become increasingly mature. Its safety, reliability, and avoidance of some genetic diseases have been widely recognized in the world.