Department of Neonatology, Children Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
There has been a dramatic rise in the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) throughout the world over the past three decades. Because they represent >1% of the birth cohorts in many developed countries, much attention is being paid to the health and well-being of ART children. Children born after assisted reproductive techniques (ART) have an increased risk of several adverse perinatal outcomes compared with their naturally conceived peers. Morbidity in this particular group of neonates pertains mostly to multiple gestation and prematurity. Morbidities more specific to ART/IVF have however been noted such as elevated risks of congenital malformations and imprinting disorders. Since many factors can potentially influence the neonatal outcome such as risks associated with the ART procedures themselves, advanced parental age, higher incidence of maternal nulliparity and underlying cause of parental subfertility among others, the exact pathological role played by ARTs in the occurrence of congenital malformations and genetic disorders is still unclear. In this review we aim to discuss the important epidemiological aspects of ART/IVF and the neonatal outcomes of IVF-conceived offspring.