IVF mothers and babies urgent need for healthcheck database

 Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby”Credit:PA “With no UK data or any process for monitoring the health of IVF mothers and babies in the UK, we have no way of knowing the long-term effects of IVF,” warned Prof Nargund.“With the oldest person born via IVF just 40 years of age, there is still a grey cloud hampering our understanding of the impact that IVF may have.“Just this month it was revealed that children born via IVF are at significantly higher risk of heart conditions in later life.“There is an urgent need for a centralised database which would enable the health implications for women undergoing IVF and babies born from IVF to be monitored in both the short and long term.”Around 20,000 babies are born through IVF in Britain each year. But the oldest test-tube baby – Louise Brown – is only 40 years old, so the long term impact of fertility treatment is still unknown. Prof Nargund and Mrs McDonagh are also lobbying  to link the HFEA registry with hospital, cancer and death registers, to enable accurate recording and publication of the links between IVF treatment and incidences of cancer and early deaths.And they are concerned that incidences of deadly Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome which are currently underreported by clinics who are anxious not to deter women from treatment.They warned of a ‘toxic combination’ of extremely vulnerable and desperate women and a commercial industry that is not being monitored.Mrs McDonagh said: “It is high time that we protected the welfare of women undergoing IVF. “It is now a multi-million pound industry with over 67,000 cycles carried out in the UK each year but it has grown far faster than the law associated with it.“Like all of the other issues I have campaigned on throughout my time as an MP, my involvement in this issue stemmed from my constituents.“The lack of concern about the welfare of women during IVF treatment is a scandal that cannot continue to exist.”Other countries, including the Netherlands, Australia, Scandinavia, Canada and the USA, have all combined their databases.The second reading of the amendment to the HFEA will be heard in Parliament on October 26. Babies born through IVF and their mothers may be suffering a raft of health problems but nobody is aware because they are not being monitored, a leading fertility doctor and MP have warned.Professor Geeta Nargund, the founder and medical director of Create Fertility and MP Siobhain McDonagh, are calling for the Human Fertility and Embryology Act to be amended to merge NHS and fertility databases.Currently 62 per cent of IVF treatments happen in private clinics who do not need to share their data with the NHS or reveal what drugs women have been given during treatment.And after treatment, neither mothers or babies are checked to make sure that they are not experiencing health problems even though overseas studies have linked IVF to colo-rectal cancer, borderline ovarian tumours and mental health and psycho-social problems.Evidence has shown that 90 per cent of women undergoing IVF have experienced depression of some sort, and 42 per cent have reported having suicidal thoughts.Recent research also suggests babies born through fertility treatment are at greater risk of prematurity, low birth weight and still births, as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, and male fertility problems. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.  Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby"

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