Pregnancy

IVF Allows Eggs To Develop That Nature Would Have Excluded

By  | 

IVF undoubtedly makes many families possible, both here and abroad. The benefits of such a procedure have made miracles: given barren couples the baby they always hoped for, even producing twins and triplets in scenarios where even one conception was doubtful. Although IVF has been known to make women ill by overstimulating the ovaries, research has now revealed that the process also develops eggs that may be flawed. This alone could account for the increase in abnormalities that potentially arise in women using IVF — regardless of their age.

Research  presented at the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Stockholm revealed that stimulated eggs with IVF have a higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down’s syndrome) than those from women not using IVF.  A consultant observed to The Guardian:

“What this paper shows is that a lot of the chromosomal abnormalities are not those that are conventionally age-related,” said Stuart Lavery, consultant gynaecologist and director of the IVF clinic at Hammersmith hospital in London. It raised concerns, he said, that the treatment might be responsible for the abnormalities – possibly by allowing eggs to develop “that nature would have excluded.”

Embryos created from eggs with chromosomal abnormalities generally don’t result in a full-term pregnancy or healthy birth. These eggs may not take to the womb or the woman may miscarry. But prior to this study, it was assumed that older women had less success with IVF because their less eggs were less viable than those of young women. These findings disprove that theory while also debunking the idea that older women should just receive more hormonal medication in the hopes of conceiving. This study is most important for couples looking to conceive as, according to The Guardian, it will help identify women who simply cannot conceive with their own eggs. It’s looking like donor eggs may become more in demand as a result of this research.