Children born as result of infertility treatments no more likely to experience developmental delays
Some health care providers and other groups have expressed concerns that children born as a result of these infertility treatments might -- as a result of effects on the embryos during the delicate first stages -- experience developmental delays or other disabilities.
However, a recent study conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, New York State Department of Health and other facilities showed the development of these children is no more likely to be delayed than children conceived by parents unassisted by infertility treatments.
“When we began our study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on U.S. children,” Dr. Edwina Yeung, an investigator in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said. “Our results provide reassurance to the thousands of couples who have relied on these treatments to establish their families.”
The study used as subjects more than 1,800 children born with the assistance of infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, frozen embryo transfer, assisted hatching, gamete intrafallopian transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, ovulation inductio and intrauterine insemination, in addition to more than 4,000 born to women who conceived without treatments. The children were born in New York State between 2008 and 2010.
Parents answered questions about their children's fine motor skills, gross motor skills, communication, personal, social functioning and problem solving skills at four to six, eight, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months old. All the children in the study achieved similar scores.
When the scores of children conceived with the help of treatment were compared with one another, the categories they most often failed in were personal, social and problem-solving skills.
More detailed information about the study is available online at www.nichd.nih.gov.
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