In a nutshell
This study looked at rates of birth defects among infants of women with endometriosis who conceive through IVF (in vitro fertilization). This study found that these infants may be at higher risk of birth defects.
Endometriosis (EM) is a disease where cells from the uterus grow in other areas of the body, such as in the ovaries or abdomen. Common symptoms are pain and unusual bleeding. EM is a chronic disease that gets worse over time.
EM can cause infertility. Women with EM and infertility are commonly treated with IVF. Pregnant women with EM are more likely than other women to have complications, such as miscarriage and premature birth. It is not known whether the infants of women with EM treated with IVF are more likely to have birth defects.
Methods & findings
This study followed the infants of 22,865 women who conceived through IVF. 1,495 infants were born to women with endometriosis (EM group). 27,105 infants were born to women who did not have EM (control group). (There are more infants than women due to twins.) All women with EM had previously been treated using surgery.
1.81% of infants from the EM group had birth defects, compared to 1.10% of infants from the control group. Twins were 1.957 times more likely to have a birth defect than single births. After adjusting for other factors, infants of women with EM were 55.7% more likely to have birth defects.
Infants in the EM group also had a higher risk of defects in the circulatory system (2.12 times higher) and urinary system (3.11 times). Infants in the EM group also had a higher risk of cleft palate (2.71 times).
At birth, defects in the circulatory system were most common (0.56%). Muscular or skeletal defects were also observed (0.15%).
The bottom line
This study found that the infants of women with EM who conceive through IVF may be at higher risk of birth defects.
The fine print
This was a retrospective study (based on records) and did not have data on all risk factors. It also did not include miscarriages and stillbirths in calculating the probability of birth defects.
Discuss your pregnancy’s risk of birth defects and screening options with your doctor.
Published By :
Frontiers in Endocrinology
Dec 05, 2019