IVF boys may inherit infertility

The first evidence that the fathers of test-tube babies may pass on their fertility problems has been discovered in a new study. It was found that boys conceived by the implantation of a single sperm cell into an egg using IVF were likely to develop shorter fingers, an indicator known to be associated with infertility. This new finding may be an indicator of a generation with less chance of having their own children.

In Britain, almost one in 50 babies is conceived through artificial means. Almost half are conceived using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process that bypasses the competition that occurs between proportionally healthier and unhealthier sperm in natural fertilisation. Only the healthiest sperm cell will fertilise a given egg during natural fertilisation, whereas ICSI bypasses this process. The result is that unhealthier sperm may be forced into an egg, leading to a higher percentage chance of defects such as infertility. ~ Sunday Times, Feb 7


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