Rome, Italy: A review of studies of babies born after in vitro maturation (IVM) fertility treatment has suggested that they are more likely to be born larger than normal and to have more difficult births requiring more obstetric interventions such as caesareans.
Authors of the literature review to be presented to the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome today (Wednesday) believe that this may be a problem associated with the IVM process in which immature eggs are retrieved from a woman's ovaries and matured in the lab before being fertilised and any resulting embryos transferred to the woman's uterus. They have urged caution in the use of IVM until further studies can clarify their findings.
Dr Peter Sjblom, unit manager of Nurture, the Nottingham University IVF clinic at Queen's Medical Centre (Nottingham, UK), said: "We looked at four different data sets from four different countries and, although the numbers were small and differences modest, we saw a consistent pattern that cannot be ignored. We strongly believe that these findings must be explored further."
Dr Sjblom and his colleagues analysed data from studies of babies born after IVM, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in Denmark, Finland, Canada and Korea. They found that the birth weight of the 165 babies born after IVM was between 0.3% and 6% higher than the national average for singleton births and 6%-9% higher than babies conceived after IVF and/or ICSI. Caesarean rates were consistently higher after IVM as well: for singleton IVM births they were 30-60% versus 27-44% for IVF/ICSI births. IVM pregnancies had high miscarriage rates (25-37%) and the average period of gestation was 3-11 days longer than for IVF/ICSI. Although there were no firm data on other obstetric interventions, the authors thought it was probable that there was also a higher number of procedures such as induction
|Contact: Emma Mason|
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology