Fertility Treatments May Raise Risk for Birth Defects, Study Says

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New research indicates that couples who undergo in vitro fertilization are more likely to have a baby with birth defects, Health Day reports.

One of the study's authors said the findings showed a significant link between the use of assisted reproductive technology, such as certain types of in vitro fertilization, and a higher risk of birth defects, but the reason behind the association is not exactly clear. She said infants conceived naturally had a 6.6 percent baseline rate of major birth defects, while infants born after IVF had a rate of 9 percent, and noted that there is a 3 percent rate of birth defects for the general population.

The study author said that the results do not prove that IVF causes birth defects, and should not cause more stress for couples struggling with infertility and seeking treatments.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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