Are IVF pregnancies dangerous for the baby?

Alexander Kofinas M.D.

IVF pregnancies are more 35% more likely to be born prematurely, 30% more likely to be born growth retarded and 4-times more likely to die in the first year of life. There is nothing wrong with IVF that causes these problems. It is the same underlying reason that causes the infertility to begin with, which is responsible for the placental problems that cause prematurity, growth failure and fetal death. The most common underlying problem is an imbalance in the hemostatic (coagulation) system known as thrombophilia. Many individually insignificant thrombophilia factors can cause much more damage than one significant factor such as Factor V Leiden. Unfortunately, most obstetricians will tell you that you do not have thrombophilia if you do not have Factor V Leiden. This is a disaster and responsible for many losses and many more patients who never make it to have a baby. The combination of two or more minor factors can affect the placental development to various degrees and this in turn affects the quality of the pregnancy and the outcome. Poor implantation due to genetic thrombophilia and autoimmune conditions are mostly responsible for failed implantation and infertility or poor placenta development leading to poor pregnancy outcomes in IVF pregnancies.