Medically assisted procreation (PMA) would not ultimately impact the birth weight and risk of preterm birth.
It is a relief for couples suffering from infertility. A study of Lancet has just proved that the use of medically assisted procreation (PMA) does not, in itself, affect the health of the baby to be born, contrary to what we thought so far.
Less than 2.5 kg
To date, doctors warn parents who are struggling to have a child: according to them, the PMA leads to more underweight at birth (less than 2.5 kg) and premature births (less than 37 weeks of pregnancy) . Two parameters that can cause multiple health problems in the baby, such as heart defects, lung problems, brain damage or developmental delays.
However, according to the researchers, it is not the operation itself that is responsible for these potential disorders, but the infertility of one or both members of the couple. Thanks to this new data, "when we decide to use medically assisted procreation, no one will feel that he or she is deliberately putting his child at risk," the scientists said.
1,245 siblings born of the same parents
Out of more than 65,000 children born in Finland between 1995 and 2000, the team chose to study 1,245 siblings born to the same parents, at least one of whom was naturally conceived and another not. In the past, several studies had already attempted to determine the real risk of assisted reproduction. However, their results differed greatly and were very unreliable because they were calculated on the basis of too few births.
To date, more than five million children have been born through medically assisted procreation worldwide. According to a study by INED (National Institute for Demographic Studies), one child in thirty (3.4%) was conceived in France using this technique in 2018.
Behind the term "medically assisted procreation", which refers to the "forced" encounter between an egg and a spermatozoon, two techniques are actually hidden. The first is IVF (in vitro fertilization). Fertilization is done in the laboratory, then the egg is transferred to the uterus of the woman who wants to have a child. According to INED, IVF represents "70% of children conceived" by PMA. The other technique, artificial insemination, involves placing sperm in the woman's uterus without sexual intercourse.