Updated: Feb 16
The test tube baby treatment has successfully brought back hopes among parents who could not conceive normally. The first test-tube baby in the world was Louise Joy Brown who was born on 25th July 1978 in England. She was born healthy and is leading a healthy life as of now. However, it is again indefinite that all test tube treatments would be successful.
Some of these ART (Artificial reproductive techniques) may fail at the initial stage and some children might be born with birth defects. There are many cases of test-tube babies born with side effects. Well, there is nothing to worry about as there are numerous successful cases too.
How successful is an IVF treatment?
It all depends upon the quality of the eggs and the precision of the treatment. A woman above the age of 40 will have a poor quality of eggs and the quality of sperm in men also deteriorates with the age. A study shows that IVF success rates have significantly increased as medical science is developing. The success rate was 75.8 in 2001-2005 and it increased to 80.1 in 2006-2010. The issue of multiple birth rates had also decreased significantly.
Are all test-tube babies born healthy?
Certain studies pose a question to the health of test-tube babies. An important study shows that babies born through these ART have an increased risk of birth defects. Some of these children tend to have nonchromosomal birth defects like cleft lip or any congenital disorder. Another important observation made through this study was that such disorders were not linked to the infertility of women. However, a concrete conclusion regarding this is yet to be achieved.
Some reports even claim that test-tube babies are born with several neoplasm tumors which keep haunting these children for the rest of their lifetime.
There are various other cons of a test tube baby.
· Test tube babies tend to be underweight according to some studies.
· There are high chances of multiple births among women during the ART procedure. Multiple births can sometimes pose a risk for the mother as well as for the children.
· Some children born through IVF techniques might have congenital birth defects. Some of these defects go undetected in the USG or other tests when the baby is in the womb.
· Chronic metabolic disorders like diabetes etc.
What do geneticists say about the health of test-tube babies?
Certain geneticists have studied and compared the cases of children born through ART and the babies conceived naturally. The DNA structure is studied in this case and epigenetic cases were studied. There can be several chromosomal modifications among these children. Some of these test babies can be born with chronic diseases too.
There is no concrete evidence of the fact that children born naturally would be healthy and the ones born through ART would be unhealthy. It all depends upon the genetics, the quality of eggs, and the whole procedure which takes a bit longer time than the normal one.
However, IVF treatments can pose risk for mothers who would be carrying the child.
· Pregnancy-induced hypertension is a very common case during the treatment. Women who have undergone IVF treatment usually tend to develop high blood pressure.
· Women undergoing IVF treatment can react negatively to fertility drugs which can even harm the baby. It all depends upon the resistive power of the human body.
· Some of the IVF treatments fail simply because of miscarriages which cause mental and physical stress. As stress level increases, they can badly affect the quality of eggs and sperm.
· Some women can experience excessive bleeding and anemia during the whole pregnancy. This also affects the child in the womb.
In the modern-day, people should not restrict themselves to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ only. One should remember that there are things in between and beyond them. Mothers who are planning to conceive children through IVF techniques must not panic beforehand. It is always advisable to consult a gynecologist before planning such pregnancies keeping in mind the side effects.