The Link Between IVF Twins and Heart Disease

There has been a significant amount of media attention recently to a Yale study which found that twins conceived by in vitro fertilization may have a higher chance than the general population of contracting a congenital heart disease. However, despite the importance of this research, it is not necessarily a cause for concern among women who are trying to conceive through IVF. What the researchers have found so far is that the rate of congenital heart disease for children born via IVF is the same as that of the general population. However, the rate for twins born through IVF is higher. This suggests that the link is not necessarily the IVF but rather the multiple pregnancies. It is believed that the statistics are due in part to the fact that IVF leads to a greater chance of multiple pregnancies than would be seen in the general population. What does this mean for you? Patients can work with their fertility doctors to reduce the likelihood of a multiple-birth pregnancy. This in turn could reduce the likelihood of congenital heart problems in the family, since the rate is the same for single-birth children conceived by IVF as for the general population. Discuss all concerns with your doctor to determine the course of action that is right for you. Question of the Day: What health concerns most upset you regarding the use of IVF?

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