New studies suggest possible link between in vitro fertilization and birth defects

Researchers examining long-term safety

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor, Amber Ainsworth

DETROIT - As researchers take a closer look at the long-term safety of in vitro fertilization, new studies suggest it may be linked to birth defects.

In two studies, researchers said larger than normal babies and babies born with congenial heart defects may be linked to IVF. However, the researchers said further examination is needed, and the process remains the most successful form of assisted reproductive technology.

"Luckily, we have a lot of mechanisms in place that will protect both the embryos, their future and a healthy baby. Our goal is definitely a healthy baby and we will help them with that," said Dr. Lowell Ku, medical director at Dallas IVF.

He said storage tank failures are rare and facilities are always inspecting their policies to make sure they are as foolproof as possible. Also, genetic screening of embryos also helps prevent babies born with defects.

Ku said the biggest risk with IVF right now is that it may not work.

Learn more about the studies in the video above.

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