Many couples who are unable to conceive a child on their own are interested in fertility treatments but wonder if these treatments carry any side effects. The answer is yes. And while the vast majorities of fertility treatment side effects are mild to moderate and affect the mother, a new study in Human Reproduction suggests that children conceived with assisted reproduction may have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy. The findings corroborate the results of a number of other studies; however, the risk is still considered low, as only 2 or 3 of every 1000 babies in Europe or the US have cerebral palsy. Here are the other significant findings of the study:

  • The risk of cerebral palsy as a fertility treatment side effect seems to apply to twin or multiple births, which are significantly higher with fertility treatments. 
  • 55% of babies conceived using assisted reproduction had a 55% higher risk of developing cerebral palsy than children conceived without fertility treatments. 
  • Twins or triplets make up 54% of assisted reproduction births 
  • Of all babies born with assisted reproduction, 63% are premature 

Because the increased odds of multiple deliveries that come with fertility treatments may contribute to the risk of cerebral palsy, it is possible to lower the odds by implanting women with one embryo at a time. It appears that there is no increased risk of cerebral palsy with assisted reproduction single pregnancies.

If you believe that fertility treatment side effects caused a complication with your pregnancy or subsequent childbirth, contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. They can speak with you about fertility treatment side effects and what does and does not constitute medical malpractice.