Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis of studies assessing the effect of IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) on birth defects.
Setting: Centers for reproductive care.
Patient(s): Patients treated by IVF and/or ICSI.
Intervention(s): We identified all studies published by September 2011 with data related to birth defects in children conceived by IVF and/or ICSI compared with spontaneously conceived children, or birth defects in the children conceived by IVF compared with those by ICSI. Risk ratios from individual studies were pooled with the fixed and random effect models.
Main outcome measure(s): Risk of birth defects in children conceived by IVF and/or ICSI.
Result(s): Of 925 studies reviewed for eligibility, 802 were excluded after screening titles and abstracts, 67 were excluded for duplicated data, data unavailable, or inappropriate control group, 56 were included in the final analysis. Among the 56 studies, 46 studies had data on birth defects in children conceived by IVF and/or ICSI (124,468) compared with spontaneously conceived children. These studies provided a pooled risk estimation of 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.26-1.48), which is also evident in subgroup analysis. In addition, 24 studies had data on birth defects in children conceived by IVF (46,890) compared with those by ICSI (27,754), which provided an overall no risk difference.
Conclusion(s): Children conceived by IVF and/or ICSI are at significantly increased risk for birth defects, and there is no risk difference between children conceived by IVF and/or ICSI.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.