What other factors may affect health of IVF offspring?

The June issue of Fertility & Sterility, the official journal of the ASRM, was dedicated to exactly that question and various contributors offered review articles. Overall reaffirming the safety of IVF, these articles, nevertheless, summarized in detail some of the associations, known for some time. Those included the well-known association between advancing parental age and adverse IVF outcomes. The conclusion on this subject was that age effects appear limited at an individual level but do have a substantial impact at the level of population health. Moreover, with ages of infertility patients rising, this impact can be expected to grow.

Image by Derek Thomson, via Unsplash

Paternal age, which until recently was mostly ignored, appears to attract increasing attention. So far, only an increased risk for autism in offspring has been associated firmly with advancing paternal age and even this risk is quite modest. Some studies have also raised the specter of increased schizophrenia risk.

Parental weight, discussed in detail elsewhere in this issue of the VOICE, was also addressed. Obesity is, of course, also a polygenetic disease with a large variety of inheritance patterns, often associated with the metabolic syndrome. Especially in women with classical PCOS phenotype these risks are substantial and, still, under investigation.

This is a part of the July 2019 issue of the CHR VOICE.

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.