BioScience Trends. 2023;17(4):318-321. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01160)

An expanded view of infertility: The challenge of the changing profiling of major birth defects in China

Chen ZZ, Wang YL, Lan FY, Li S, Wang JH


Over the past two decades, China has experienced a significant decline in birth rates, accompanied by a decrease in fertility and changes in major congenital defects. The development of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has brought hope to individuals facing infertility. However, some issues related to reproductive health and congenital defects have arisen. The reasons for the changing profiling of birth defects and the relationship between the decline in fertility and ART need to be further investigated. Lifestyle factors such as nutritional supplementation need to be altered to protect reproductive capacity. Birth defects, such as congenital heart defects and hypospadias, may serve as a signal for understanding the decline in fertility. To improve fertility, the factors contributing to it need to be identified, vital genetic and medical technologies need to be introduced, and environmental interventions, such as nutritional changes, need to be implemented.

KEYWORDS: assisted reproductive technology (ART), infertility, birth defect, hypospadias, congenital heart defects

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