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IVF Does Not Contribute to Developmental Delays in Children

Adapted from Examining Infertility Treatment and Early Childhood Development in the Upstate KIDS Study, published in March 2016 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

Patients commonly worry about the potential effects of fertility treatment on child development. Scarce data exist regarding infertility treatments and children’s physical and psychological development.

A new study conducted by the National Institutes of Health concluded that In Vitro Fertilization does not contribute to developmental delays for the investigated ages of children.

The study followed over 5,800 children born in New York state. They included 1,830 children conceived through various forms of infertility treatment including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Five developmental domains (fine motor, gross motor, communication, personal-social functioning, and problem-solving ability) were assessed by the parental completion of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires at 4, 8, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months of age.

Researchers found no significant difference in rates of developmental delays between children whose mothers had IVF and those who did not: 13 percent of children conceived with IVF had a delay (such as a learning disability, speech or language disorder, or autism), compared to 18 percent of those conceived without treatment.

These results should be reassuring to patients considering IVF as their infertility treatment.

April 2016

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