Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Assisted reproduction has no effect on birthing process or the baby's outcome

Date:
March 1, 2010
Source:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Summary:
Whether a women gets pregnant the "traditional" way or by assisted reproduction has no effect on the birthing process itself or the baby, researchers in Norway have found.

Whether a women gets pregnant the "traditional" way or by assisted reproduction has no effect on the birthing process itself or the baby, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have found.

Gynaecologist and medical researcher Liv Bente Romundstad and colleagues from NTNU and St Olav's University Hospital in Trondheim looked at the pregnancies of more than 1.2 million Norwegian women whose births were listed in the Medical Birth Registry of Norway between 1984 and 2006. Of these, 8229 were pregnancies that resulted from assisted reproduction technology.

In a series of articles published in The Lancet and Human Reproduction, the researchers reported finding no difference between infants of women who had conceived spontaneously and after assisted fertilization in birth weight, gestational age, risks of being small for gestational age, and preterm delivery. Researchers found a higher risk of breech births in pregnancies from assisted fertilization, but their findings suggest the difference is due not to the technology itself, but to the gestational age of the baby and the number of previous deliveries that the mother had had.

Breech births

Romundstad found that five percent of the children from assisted reproduction are born in a breech presentation, compared with three percent of the average. She says this has a straightforward explanation: Mothers who have children by assisted reproduction, are in fact slightly older than average, tend to have shorter pregnancies, and fewer previous births.

When Romundstad adjusted for these differences, she found out that the difference in the proportion of breech births disappeared completely.

"We also believe that some of the frequency of breech births can be explained by the fact that children often are in the breech position early in the pregnancy," she said. "The children turned several times during the pregnancy, and assumed the head-down position when the normal gestation period ended."

"If a child is born before the end of the gestation period, it is not clear that the child has time to assume the head-down position," Romundstad says.

Greater worries then -- but not now

The second important key finding pertains to how the Norwegian health system treated mothers who became pregnant using assisted reproduction.

"We were more anxious earlier. When we first started with assisted reproduction in 1984, all of these mothers were carefully monitored, and the children were born by Caesarean section," Romundstad said. "This is a clear difference from women who didn't need help getting pregnant. For these women, the Caesarean section rate was about 10 per cent."

Now, Romundstad says, the rate of Caesarean sections in the two groups is quite similar. "For children in the breech position, the difference completely gone," she says.

No reason for concern

Romundstad says the bottom line is that assisted reproduction itself doesn't have an adverse affect on pregnancies or babies' outcomes. There may be conditions that differ in mothers who use reproductive technologies compared to mothers who don't need help getting pregnant, but those conditions are not due to the technology itself, she says.

"We want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention," Romundstad says. "If there are no other medical indications, there is no reason to handle mothers who have used assisted reproduction differently than other mothers of the same age who have had the same number of births."

Survival rates the same

Norway has a unique database for studying birth outcomes. The Medical Birth Registry in Bergen contains data for all Norwegian births from 1967. Beginning in 1984, records were also kept for "test tube" babies. Mothers who use assisted reproduction are given an ultrasound early in their pregnancies, and are followed until the child is one week old.

Romundstad has used these data to also show that the risk of mortality is the same for test tube children as for other children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Liv Bente Romundstad1, Pål R. Romundstad, Arne Sunde, Vidar von Düring, Rolv Skjærven and Lars J. Vatten. Assisted fertilization and breech delivery: risks and obstetric management. Human Reproduction, 2009; 24 (12): 3205 DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dep301
  2. Liv Bente Romundstad, Pål R Romundstad, Arne Sunde, Vidar von Düring, Prof Rolv Skjærven, David Gunnell, Lars J Vatten. Effects of technology or maternal factors on perinatal outcome after assisted fertilisation: a population-based cohort study. The Lancet, 2008; 372 (9640): 737 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61041-7

Cite This Page:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Assisted reproduction has no effect on birthing process or the baby's outcome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301163912.htm>.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2010, March 1). Assisted reproduction has no effect on birthing process or the baby's outcome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301163912.htm
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Assisted reproduction has no effect on birthing process or the baby's outcome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301163912.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins