Infertility Treatments & Baby Development

Infertility Treatments & Baby Development

Children conceived through infertility treatments may be no more likely to have a developmental delay than babies born without treatment, new research suggests.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have determined no risk by the age of three from in vitro fertilization or other forms of infertility treatment.

"When we began our study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on U.S. children," said Edwina Yeung, Ph.D, who believes the findings can reassure couples who have turned to infertility treatments to establish their families.

There has long been some concern that infertility treatments could affect the embryo at a sensitive stage and result in a lifelong disability. The authors found no differences in developmental assessment scores of more than 1,800 children born as a result of infertility treatments, and more than 4,000 babies born to parents who did not have treatment. Because it is not always possible to diagnose some forms of developmental disability by the age of three, researchers say they will continue to evaluate the children periodically until they reach the age of eight.

The study, conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions, is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.

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