Children conceived via infertility treatments are no more likely to have a developmental delay than children conceived without such treatments. That’s according to a new collaborative study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the New York State Department of Health and other institutions, which was published online in JAMA Pediatrics.
“When we began our study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on US children,” said Edwina Yeung, PhD, one of the study’s lead authors.“Our results provide reassurance to the thousands of couples who have relied on these treatments to establish their families.”
The study sample included over 5800 children—1500 born to women who received fertility treatment, and over 4000 who didn’t receive such treatments. Parents who enrolled in the study completed questionnaires at numerous intervals throughout their child’s first three years of life (at 4-6, 8, 12, 24 and 36 months). The questionnaires focused on five main developmental areas: fine motor skills, gross motor skills, communication, personal and social functioning, and problem solving ability. The results did not show any significant difference between the two sets of children.
Although the results do provide a level of reassurance it is not completely conclusive, as some forms of developmental disability are known to appear after the age of 3. For this reason the study authors will continue to evaluate the children until they reach the age of 8.
For more information visit the National Institutes of Health.