IVF Not A Risk for Kids’ Developmental Delay

Good news: Developmental delays in young children were not linked to infertility treatments that their mothers had undergone versus children born to women who did not undergo those treatments, according to a population-based study as reported on MedPage Today..

After adjusting for confounders, infertility treatments were not associated with a statistically significant increased risk of a child failing in any developmental domain through age 3, reported Edwina H. Yeung, PhD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development in Rockville, Md., and colleagues.

The study examined children conceived with the help of ART and non-assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (OU/IUI), separately from those where ART was used.

Yeung told MedPage Today that the study was somewhat novel on two fronts. First, it separated out types of infertility treatment whereas most studies have examined ART only. Second, the study population was based in the U.S., while prior studies have primarily been based on data from other countries.

“There has been a longstanding interest in children who are conceived by infertility treatment and their long-term health,” Yeung explained. “There have been some concerns in terms of looking at their birth outcomes that babies conceived by infertility treatment are born smaller and earlier and those are risk factors for developmental delay.”

“Twin pregnancy does skew toward a risk of developmental delay, whether spontaneous or through ART,” noted Alan Penzias, MD, of Boston IVF and Harvard Medical School in Boston, wrote in an email to MedPage Today. “Vigilant efforts at reducing the risk of twins in ART is therefore justified and should continue.”

Yeung said that this cohort of children is fairly young, and her group will keep monitoring them as they age.

At RPMG we have been recommending elective single embryo transfer (eSET) in appropriate patients in a effort to reduce the chance of twins for a number of years.

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