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Higher risk of birth defects from assisted reproduction
Date:5/5/2012

Professor Davies says cryopreservation (freezing) of embryos was associated with a substantially reduced risk of birth defects, particularly for ICSI. "This may be due to developmentally compromised embryos failing to survive the freeze/thaw process," he says.

Also of concern was the tripling of risk in women using clomiphene citrate to stimulate ovulation outside of a closely supervised clinical setting.

"While confined to a small group in our study, this is of particular concern as clomiphene citrate is now very widely available at low cost, and may easily be used contrary to manufacturers' very specific instructions to avoid use if pregnant, as it may cause fetal malformations. This aspect of the study will need additional confirmation from future research," Associate Professor Davies says.

He says the study now needs to be expanded to include more recent years of treatment, as the reproductive technologies have undergone continual innovation which may influence the associated risks of treatment.


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Contact: Michael Davies
michael.davies@adelaide.edu.au
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

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