July 3, 2022

IVF linked to genetic disorders

A geneticist at the University of Toronto has called for more research on the link between IVF and rare genetic disorders.

A geneticist at the University of Toronto has called for more research on the link between IVF and rare genetic disorders. Dr Rosanna Weksberg pointed out that babies born through the treatment are up to 10 times more likely to suffer from these disorders, one of which causes serious mental disability. Dr Weksberg, who supports IVF and other reproduction technology procedures, said this only is the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Weksberg says she has seen many babies born through IVF suffer from Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, a condition which causes symptoms such as unevenly sized limbs, an enlarged tongue and a high risk for kidney tumours. In Canada, one in 1,300 babies born through IVF suffer this condition – as opposed to one in every 13,000 in the general population. “We are seeing a significant increase in risk,” she said after a presentation to a Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society conference. “The most important message is… we need follow-up study.”

However, most doctors at the conference left the talk without asking questions – a response Dr Weksberg said was “very telling”. She said she would like to study the issue with one or more fertility clinics, but as yet has garnered no interest. “It’s a very real source of concern,” said Dr Roger Pierson, a fertility scientist at the University of Saskatchewan. “We’re still in the first two generations of people born with assisted-reproduction technology… and there is lots we don’t know about them.” ~ National Post, Sep 25

Jared Yee
birth defects
IVF