Study suggests fertility treatment conception does no harm to children's developmental skills.
A new study is suggesting that children who were conceived through fertility treatments do not appear to have any extra risk of experiencing developmental delays, according to a HealthDay news report.
For some time, there have been concerns about the possibility of developmental delays in children conceived through fertility treatments, but the author of the new study, Edwina Yeung, a researcher at the United States National Institute of Child Health and Development, says those concerns are partly based on animal research and conflicting findings from previous studies of children.
This is good news for the large and growing number of parents who are using fertility treatments to help them conceive children and start a family of their own.
The study team evaluated over 5,800 children from New York state born between 2008 and 2010, including 1,830 conceived through some type of fertility treatment, from drugs to in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
The findings show that overall, there was no greater likelihood of having developmental issues with fertility drugs conceived children than their naturally conceived counterparts. However, the study did note some signs that children conceived through the more complicated treatments, such as IVF, may experience some slower development.
The researchers explained that fact by saying the assisted reproductive technology (ARP) group had a much higher rate of twining, with 34 percent compared to the normal 189 percent rate. Twins are quite often born at a lower weight and prematurely, which raises the risk of developmental issues.
The good news is there is no evidence that the fertility treatments themselves had any part in the slower development, and there was no greater risk of delayed development among ART twins when compared to naturally occurring twins.
The study accounted for differences in the parents’ ages and education levels, as well as smoking and drinking habits of the mothers to control the data.
Dr. Siobhan Dolan, medical adviser to the March of Dimes, said she would agree the results of the study were reassuring, and added it was always good to see more data on long term outcomes that reveal children are doing well. But, she says, there is still a concern over the evidence that ART often produces twins, calling that an high-risk situation in itself.