Women planning for pregnancy later in life when the chances of natural conception lessens can opt to freeze their eggs till they are ready.
New research, however, has found that children born of frozen embryos through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are comparatively more susceptible to certain types of cancers as compared to other kids.
According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), babies conceived through assisted reproduction involving frozen embryo transfer were more than twice likely to develop childhood cancer, particularly leukemia and neuroblastoma, a type of brain cancer.
On the other hand, the study did not find increased risks with other types of fertility treatments, study author Marie Hargreave, The Danish Cancer Society Research Center, mentioned.
“It is important to stress the fact that the increased risk is very small for the individual as childhood cancer is very rare,” she was quoted as saying.
The incidence of childhood cancer among children born to women with no fertility issues was found to be 17.5 per 100,000 while for those born of frozen embryo transfer, it was about 44.4 per 100,000.
“It is not clear whether the finding is related to the procedure itself or the patients who needed the procedure…prospective parents can be reassured that in 12.2 million ‘person-years’ of follow-up, that childhood cancer was diagnosed in less than 0.01 per cent of children, regardless of whether or not IVF was used for conception,” added Dr Alan B Cooperman, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.