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Test-Tube Boys May Inherit Fertility Problems: Study

by Lois Rogers,  Time Online U.K.,  Feb 7, 2010
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Doctors have uncovered the first evidence that fathers of test-tube babies may be passing on their infertility to their sons.

A new study has found that boys conceived through IVF treatment involving a single sperm being directly injected into a female egg often inherit shorter fingers, a trait known to be associated with infertility.

The results raise the prospect of a new and growing generation who may be less likely to have children of their own.

Alastair Sutcliffe, a paediatrician at the Institute of Child Health in London, led the Anglo-German study which compared 211 six-year-olds conceived through ICSI with 195 naturally conceived children of the same age.

The ICSI group were similar heights to the naturally conceived group, but the boys had significantly shorter fingers.

It is known that men with low sperm counts often have ring fingers the same length as their index finger, whereas fertile men are more likely to have a ring finger which is relatively longer than their index finger. Read more.


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