Is fetal growth impaired after in vitro fertilization?

(December 22, 2009)

In Vitro Fertilization is indeed associated with some birth defects that can form and these birth defects can be quite serious. Birth defects are normally considered by the medical community to involve many systems and mechanisms. This is because the process of development of one part of the body is usually connected with the development of the other. Therefore, if there is a problem in the development of the esophagus, there could also be a problem in the development of the spinal cord, colon, and even the trachea. This is because the development of these structures usually starts from one structure and then it separates and forms the individual structures. Why some birth defects occur especially with IVF treatment is not completely understood. The defects that do occur are congenital heart defects, atresia of the esophagus and rectum, and a cleft lip or palate.

Congenital heart defects could manifest in any kind of symptoms. They could consist of the misshapen heart chamber, hyperplasia, and sometimes even a leakage of blood from the left to the right side of the heart. Despite the seemingly severe nature of these problems, most children with congenital heart defects do not need any kind of treatment and the problem eventually corrects itself in time. Very rarely is surgical intervention required. Atresia is a much more serious condition and is caused by the underdevelopment of the one of the tubes in question. Esophageal atresia is a condition in which the esophagus is not connected with the stomach, with a possible fistula or connection to the trachea. When a child is born with this defect, intravenous feeding is the option or feeding from a tube into the stomach. When the child is old enough, a surgery is done to correct the esophageal defect. The same mechanisms exist for a rectal atresia but surgery is conducted within 24 hours of birth and is usually a colostomy.

Cleft lips and palates are not medical emergencies but are usually treated early on so that the scars of healing become invisible. A cleft lip is more of an incorrect skin formation and is corrected by simply pulling together the skin and supporting structures. A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth is separated causing air from the nose to rush into the mouth. This condition is also not a medical emergency and not much of a cosmetic problem either.  

Submitted by P T on December 22, 2009 at 11:49

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