Posted by: "Infertility Network"
Date: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:27 am (PDT)NO PHYSICAL
HEALTH PROBLEMS FOR ICSI CHILDREN
Recent research shows that children born from ICSI are still developing
well 8 years after birth. Some previous studies have reported slight
developmental delays in both cognitive and motor functions. This study,
however, looked at physical characteristics of the children, rather than
their social and cognitive development. [Comparing the children to others
born without any form of assisted conception] researchers found no
difference in the children's weight, height, head circumference or Body Mass
Index, and little or no difference - physically or neurologically - in terms
of medications taken, chronic diseases or requirements for therapy.
10% of the ICSI children had a 'major congenital malformation' compared with
only 3.3% of the control group. 24.1% of ICSI children had a 'minor
congenital malformation', compared with 17.2% of the controls. However, when
the results were reassessed by an Australian team - using a different set of
definitions - the percentages of major and minor malformations decreased
dramatically in both groups, showing that it was perhaps the case that the
Belgian groups had a wider definition of what constituted a malformation
than other groups would use. And, even though major malformations were found
more frequently in the ICSI children, most of these were able to be easily
corrected by minor surgery.
'Malformations' similar to those seen in the ICSI children also occur in the
'normal' population and can be caused by many factors, including
inheritance, environmental factors or disease, for example.
Researchers did not think that the ICSI technique itself was the cause,
although the genetic background and infertility history of the parents (i.e.
the factor that may make them need to use ICSI in the first place) may be
Overall, the general health of the children studied was 'satisfactory', but
it was a small study and there is a need for a larger, multi-centre
follow-up study. 'The children represent the first wave born after the
introduction of the ICSI technique in 1991. The children are being assessed
again at the age of 10. 'We need to check them again later at puberty and
afterwards at reproductive age as from a reproductive and genetic point of
view there are some concerns for the future, mainly because of fertility
... [read on]