In vitro culture of human embryos : effects on fetal development and the role of the placenta

E.C.M. Nelissen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

798 Downloads (Pure)


IVF children are at a slight developmental disadvantage compared to children who were conceived naturally. The cause of low birth weight and premature birth remains unknown. The effects in human babies are less pronounced than in animals and, while IVF newborns may appear perfectly normal at birth, they could go on to develop problems later in life. This study shows that culturing human embryos for two to three days in two different culture mediums results in a significant difference in birth weight after nine months. A difference in fetal development was also noted. Changes were found in the placentas of women who had undergone IVF treatment that were not found in women who had conceived naturally. It is therefore important that manufacturers of IVF cultures publish the exact composition of their mediums. Additionally, the safety of IVF warrants further research.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Evers, Johannes, Supervisor
  • Dumoulin, John, Co-Supervisor
  • van Montfoort, Aafke, Co-Supervisor
Award date26 Feb 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789064648540
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • IVF
  • risks
  • culture medium
  • placenta

Cite this