Statement regarding French study into risks in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

A study in France has shown that there is a small but clear increase in risks of congenital abnormalities in children born as a result of IVF or ICSI. The reason for this is not clear and the risks are still very small. It is important that patients are informed about this but not alarmed by it.

In order to make sure patients understand the risks of ART we keep research of this kind under review and where it suggests there may be a greater risk we share this information with patients in a clear way to help them understand the risks associated with the choices they are making.

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Notes to editors

  • The title of the French study is 'C06.1 - Is there an increased risk of congenital malformations after Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)? Results of a French cohort composed of 15 162 children'
  • The HFEA is the independent regulator for IVF treatment and embryo research. Our role is to protect patients and the public interest, to drive improvement in the treatment and research sectors and to provide information to the public and policymakers about treatment and research.
  • The HFEA was set up in August 1991 as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.  The HFEA’s principal tasks are to license and monitor clinics that carry out in vitro fertilisation (IVF), artificial insemination (AI) and human embryo research. The HFEA also regulates the storage of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos.

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Page last updated: 11 June 2010

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