A Link Between In Vitro Fertilization and Childhood Cancer: Does It Matter?
In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of studies linking in vitro fertilization (IVF) and childhood cancer. While the overall risk of childhood cancer is still low, this increase has led some to question whether IVF may be a risk factor for the disease.
IVF is a medical procedure in which eggs are fertilized outside of the body. The resulting embryos are then implanted into the uterus. IVF is often used when couples are unable to conceive a child through traditional methods.
While the link between IVF and childhood cancer is still being investigated, there are some possible explanations for why the two may be connected. One theory is that the IVF process itself may damage the DNA of the embryo, which could lead to cancer. Another possibility is that the use of fertility drugs during IVF may increase the risk of cancer.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the overall risk of childhood cancer is still low, even for children conceived through IVF. In addition, the vast majority of children who do develop cancer will not have a family history of the disease.
If you are considering IVF, it is important to speak with your doctor about the possible risks and benefits of the procedure.