Risks associated with birth abnormalities following IVF, ICSI, egg donation, or embryo cryopreservation


More than one million babies have been born as a result of IVF and ICSI treatment and several studies have been done to determine the risks associated with these procedures. So far there is no conclusive evidence to link IVF or ICSI to any specific abnormality although some studies have suggested a slight increase in congenital malformations after IVF and ICSI (in the range of 4%-6% of children - compared to 2% of children born naturally) and a slight increase in rare genetic conditions, known as imprinting disorders. Even if these studies are confirmed, the general risk for the rare genetic conditions remains well below 1%. More studies are needed to conclusively state that there is a risk, which, in any event, would be very small.

Men with very low sperm count have a higher probability of genetic abnormalities therefore patients with this problem are specifically counseled about their situation.