In vitro fertilization (IVF) raises many questions, many of them related to the consequences on the offspring. One of these concerns the risk of getting cancer in children born thanks to these techniques. According to a study led by Professor Flora van Leeuwen, assisted reproduction techniques do not influence the chances of getting sick.
The study analyzed data from 47,690 children born between 1980 and 2001. Among these: 24,269 were conceived with assisted fertilization; 13.761 were designed naturally; 9,660 were naturally conceived by infertile couples, even with ovarian stimulation. The scholars followed them for an average of 21 years of life.
The researchers compared the rate of tumors among these children in the general population and naturally conceived children. In the latter group there were also children conceived naturally by infertile women. This allowed us to analyze infertility as a risk factor in its own right.
Among the children involved, 231 became ill with cancer; 31 were ill with leukemia and 26 with melanoma. Researchers took into consideration factors such as age, parental fertility, exposure to risk factors. From what has emerged, there are no substantial differences compared to naturally conceived children. This applies to children born to women who are not very fertile and to those born to women without problems. Nevertheless, there is an interesting data.
Although the difference is not statistically significant, children conceived by intracytoplasmic sperm injection appear to be more at risk.