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Consumer Reports

Risks of in-vitro fertilization | (UPI) -- The risk of rare birth defects may be more common among children conceived through in-vitro fertilization than in the natural way, a study suggests.

The urological defects include bladder development outside the body.

The findings are preliminary and should not necessarily discourage couples from considering the procedure, cautioned researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

They gathered data on 78 children with cloacal-bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex who were treated at the center between 1998 and 2001.

They found the defects are some seven times more widespread in IVF children.

"What we are seeing now is simply an association between this group of birth defects and IVF births," said the study's senior author Dr. John Gearhart, director of the division of pediatric urology.

"Further research is needed to verify these findings and understand this association."

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