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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Dec;26(6):841-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Obstetric outcome and long-term follow up of children conceived through assisted reproduction.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Reproductive Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Most children born after assisted reproduction techniques are healthy. The most important risk associated with in-vitro fertilisation is the higher multiple birth rate, which may result in increased child morbidity because several embryos are transferred at each cycle. Single-embryo transfer reduces this risk dramatically. Large registry studies and meta-analyses have indicated a small but statistically significantly increased risk of congenital malformations among children born after in-vitro fertilisation. Other risks, such as preterm birth and low birth weight seem to be associated more with parental characteristics than the in-vitro fertilisation technique. All knowledge about children conceived through in-vitro fertilisation is based on observational studies, with risks of bias and confounders. It is possible that pregnancies and children resulting from in-vitro fertilisation are more carefully monitored and seek health care more frequently, resulting in more health problems being discovered. Continuous follow up of children after in-vitro fertilisation is of great importance, particularly as new techniques are constantly being introduced.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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