Jan-Feb 2007: Technological Conception

Study Shows Higher Rate of Birth Defects in Babies Conceived Through Fertility Treatment  IVF Children May Suffer More Over-All Health Problems Than Naturally Conceived Children IVF Can Lower Chance of Pregnancy Study Finds IVF – Placenta Previa Increased Risk Wanting Babies Like Themselves, Some Parents Choose Genetic Defects     Study Shows Higher Rate of Birth Defects in Babies Conceived Through Fertility Treatment. A new study has provided further confirmation that babies conceived through fertility treatments are at a higher risk of having a birth defect than children who are conceived naturally.   The study was carried out by a medical team assembled in Ottawa, Ontario and is the largest of its kind to date. The study monitored 61,208 births in total of which 1,394 were of babies conceived through fertility treatments. The researchers took into account in their calculations the variable factors of age of the mother, sex of the child, whether the mother smoked and other relevant issues.   The final results of the study are to be presented at today’s meeting [9Feb] of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco.   Some doctors assure women, even after looking at the facts of the study, that, while the risk of a birth defect is greater with a child that is conceived through artificial means, the risk is so minimal that it should not dissuade parents from choosing technological methods of conception. Dr. Mark Walker of the University of Ottawa and one of the study’s leaders said, "What's important and reassuring is that the absolute risks are still low."   However, the results of the recent study seem to...

A Physician Discusses Abortion

I am Dr. Lance Radbill, an obstetrician-gynecologist — OBG for short. You may have heard people say that abortion is safer than childbirth. Actually, this is incorrect; here are the facts: Maternal deaths rates used in comparisons actually include all abortion-related deaths, the very deaths to which they are compared; Abortion deaths are measured per case, while maternal mortality is measured per live births. Maternal mortality figures also include deaths from tubal pregnancies, which may actually result from abortion-related scarring. Maternal mortality figures also typically include deaths from car accidents, physical abuse, homicides, and other causes not related to childbirths. Studies generally compare the isolated abortion procedure death with maternal deaths that include deaths during the entire 9 months of pregnancy and up to one year after delivery. Abortion is a surgical procedure, and like any surgical procedure, it can have serious risks. A Swedish study indicated that legal abortion is more dangerous than childbirth because the maternal death rate from legal abortions was 39 per 100,000 abortions while the maternal death rate from childbirth was 14 per 100,000 live births. A woman’s cervical muscles may be damaged because the cervix is forcefully dilated during abortion. Perforation, or puncturing, or the uterus, infection, hemorrhage, and blood clots are only a few of the possible complications. Even with a successful abortion, scar tissue may form, causing infertility, miscarriages, or tubal pregnancies. Future pregnancies have a greater chance of leading to premature delivery, which may result in serious health problems for that baby. Abortion is painful to the mother and to the preborn baby. Unless the mother receives an anesthetic, abortion can be very...