Prevalence of structural birth defects in IVF-ICSI pregnancies resulting from autologous and donor oocytes in Indian sub-continent: Results from 2444 births

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2019 Jun;98(6):715-721. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13541. Epub 2019 Feb 20.


Introduction: This study was conducted to evaluate and compare the incidence of birth defects in In-Vitro Fertilization-Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (IVF-ICSI) pregnancies with autologous and donor oocytes. As a secondary outcome, the prevalence of birth defects in IVF-ICSI pregnancies was compared with those from spontaneous conceptions in India.

Material and methods: This retrospective study included 2444 births resulting from IVF-ICSI cycles from autologous (n = 1743) and donor oocytes (n = 701) during a 3-year period in an Indian infertility center. Birth defects, if any, were noted antenatally and followed till the neonatal period, in case of live birth.

Results: The overall prevalence of birth defects in IVF-ICSI pregnancies in this study was 29/2444 (118.6/10 000 births) and the most common congenital anomaly was cardiac malformation (32.7/10 000 births) followed by genitourinary (28.6/10 000 births). The risks of birth defects resulting from autologous and donor oocytes did not differ (114.7/10 000 vs 128.38/10 000; P > 0.05). However, pregnancies resulting from autologous oocytes had a higher trend of gastrointestinal birth defects (20.5/10 000 births vs 0), though not statistically significant. The risk of cardiovascular birth defects resulting from IVF-ICSI pregnancies was much higher compared with the natural conceptions in India (32.7/10 000 vs 12.7/10 000 births; P = 0.03), whereas the risk of central nervous system malformations was much lower (8.1/10 000 vs 60.18/10 000 births; P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Overall, there was no significant difference in birth defects resulting from IVF-ICSI with autologous or donor oocytes. The births resulting from IVF-ICSI pregnancies did not tend to have a higher rate of birth defects a compared with natural conceptions. The differences in the prevalence of certain birth defects (cardiovascular or central nervous system) reported in IVF-ICSI pregnancies may be due to improved surveillance modalities and early detection in pregnancies following IVF-ICSI. A study with larger number of sample size will give us better understanding of the prevalence of reported incidence in this study.

Keywords: In Vitro Fertilization; Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection; autologous oocytes; birth defects; congenital anomaly; donor oocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Congenital Abnormalities* / classification
  • Congenital Abnormalities* / diagnosis
  • Congenital Abnormalities* / epidemiology
  • Correlation of Data
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro* / methods
  • Fertilization in Vitro* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic* / methods
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic* / statistics & numerical data