The Risk of Birth Asphyxia in Cameroonian Children After in Vitro Fertilization: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon

2 Pan African University Institute for Life and Earth Sciences (Including Health and Agriculture), PAULESI, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


 Introduction: To demonstrate that birth asphyxia is a risk factor of in vitro Fertilization in Cameroon.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the pediatric department of the Hospital Center for Research and Application in Endoscopic Surgery and Human Reproduction (HCRAESHR) in Yaoundé. Every newborn, from in vitro
fertilization (exposed group) and spontaneous conception (non-exposed group) after a single pregnancy was included and those from multiple pregnancies were excluded. Each group contained 100 newborns that were matched according to the mode of delivery. The data collection lasted 8 months. For that, the birth medical records of the newborns were used and data were reported on individual questionnaires. The absence of cry at birth, an Apgar score<7 at the 5th minute of life, and the concept of neonatal resuscitation including at least the mask ventilation, were the three criteria measured for considering a newborn as having birth asphyxia. A p-value0.05 signed the statistical significance of all our results.
Results: The mean maternal age was 40.55 ± 8.35 years in exposed group against 35.72 ± 5.01 years in non-exposed group (p = 0.000). The birth asphyxia was significantly predominant in exposed group (35% and 11% respectively, p = 0.000), in comparison to non- exposed group. Exposed group had 3.85 times higher risk to have birth asphyxia compared to non-exposed group (p = 0.001) while controlling for confounding factors (maternal age, maternal hypertension, prematurity and the sex of the baby.                                                                                                                          Conclusion: This study clearly established that in vitro fertilization can cause birth asphyxia.