IVF Linked to Increased Birth Defects

Pregnant womanStudies have found that babies conceived using IVF have an increased rate of birth defects over babies conceived naturally.

Natural selection and the conception, pregnancy and birthing processes prevent abnormal babies. According to Dr. Ron Thompson, a miscarriage before 12 weeks of pregnancy is always due to a genetically imperfect conception, which is more common with increasing maternal age.

When a women goes in for her initial ultrasound around 10 weeks, hearing a fetal heartbeat equals a 95 percent chance of a perfect normal baby seven months later. “This is because the perfect genetics of natural selection have allowed the development of the organ systems,” says Dr. Thompson. “This can be diagnosed and reassured by the beating heart.”

In cases of in-vitro fertilization, the natural selection process is circumvented leading to an increased incidence of birth defects in IVF babies, states Dr. Thompson. When a woman gets pregnant naturally, 10 to 12 potential ova develop each month, but only one is allowed to become ovulated. The remaining ova are suppressed by local hormones in the ovaries.

During IVF, ovarian stimulating injected drugs, started on day two of the process, stimulate all potential ova in both ovaries. Stimulating all the ovum bypasses the natural selection process, allowing genetically imperfect ovum to develop to maturation. “It’s not unusual to have 10 to 12 ovum retrieved from IVF stimulation,” said Dr. Thompson. “Some of these ova will be genetically impebrfect and still implanted in the woman.”

The IVF process, especially IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), also circumvents the natural selection of genetically abnormal sperm. In natural conception, intravaginal sperm capacitation accomplishes the natural selection of the spermatozoa. “This insures that only the perfect sperm can swim the 6 to 7 inches to the ovum, but also insures that the acrosome reaction is completed to allow actual fertilization,” states Dr. Thompson.

As Dr. Thompson explains, in normal laboratory sperm capacitation, scientists use a “swim up” technique to attempt to mirror the natural selection of the natural conception lubrication found in a woman’s reproductive tract. “In ICSI, the laboratory technician selects a single spermatozoa to inject into the ovum,” says Dr. Thompson. “This completely avoids natural sperm selection and can result in abnormal sperm fertilizing the ova.”

How Healthy Living Could Help You Conceive

Recently my 6 year old asked me where babies come from. “Well, when a mommy and a daddy love each other”…

It makes getting pregnant sound so simple and straight forward. But for millions of couples dreaming of starting a family, getting pregnant is not that easy. If you are one of those TTC, improving your health could increase your ability to conceive! Here are a few areas that you should consider improving on in order to enhance your overall preconception health:

source: womansday.com

source: womansday.com

1. Eating Right

According to the National Fertility Info Website, “Numerous studies have shown that specific changes to the diet can increase the chances of healthy ovulation, prevent recurrent miscarriage and support a healthy pregnancy.” (nationalfertilityinfowebsite.com) Eating healthy effects both men and women’s fertility health. Several studies reviewed on this site suggest eating a particular “fertility diet” can increase your ability to conceive, but following a basic healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with lots of water such as that outlined at myplate.gov is a great place for any of us to start!

Keeping a normal Body Mass Index or “BMI” is the most important thing for men to keep in mind while trying to conceive. A 2007 study indicates that as male BMI rose, so did their rates of infertility (Livestrong.com).

2. Exercising Right

“Though most of us never think about it, exercise is actually a key factor in many cases of infertility.” This quote from SharedJourney.com emphasizes the importance of exercising right while trying to conceive. There is a fine balance between too much and too little exercise for the woman actively trying to get pregnant. Your goal should be to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. For those who are overweight, regular exercise can help encourage weight loss, therefore reducing its negative affects on fertility. On the other hand, being underweight or undergoing regular strenuous exercise can lead to disruptions in the ovulation cycle by affecting the menstrual cycle (webmd.com). Moderate, regular exercise seems to be the balance needed to help reach your goal of pregnancy.

Men need to be careful while trying to conceive too. Over-exercise can cause the testicles to remain at temperatures at or above 96 degrees causing sperm to die, leading to a low sperm count. Underweight men also can experience lower sperm mobility and poor sperm morphology (sharedjourney.com).

3. Give up Alcohol and Tobacco

Drinking alcohol and using tobacco while trying to conceive could diminish your chances of pregnancy. Alcohol consumption can interrupt menstrual cycles as well as reproductive function, not to mention the serious problems it could cause the baby if the drinking occurred before you knew you were pregnant (Livestrong.com). Smoking ages your eggs and heavy smoking actually damages your ovaries (whattoexpect.com). But don’t despair, your body is amazing and can repair the damage quickly once you quit! The WhattoExpect.com website has a lot of great recommendations on ways to help you stop smoking!

But, it is not only the woman who need to kick the tobacco habit, smoking lowers sperm count, slows sperm mobility and can cause impotence. But again, the body is amazing and can repair the damage quickly! Within 90 days of quitting sperm can show an improvement in number and mobility.

Finally, it should go without saying that one of the most important things you can do on your journey to conception is getting great medical care. See your doctor to give you more information on how living a healthy lifestyle can help you achieve your desire to conceive!