Concerns about effects of fertility treatments on baby’s development ‘unwarranted’

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One study found that children who were conceived through fertility treatment improved in growth, weight and body fat levels, even into their late teens.

The researchers say their findings show that the differences between babies born through methods such as IVF and those conceived naturally are small and unlikely to have any health implications.

The study aimed to address concerns about whether fertility treatment is associated with growth, weight, and body fat from childhood to adulthood.

Since the birth of the first IVF baby, questions have been raised about the risks to babies conceived this way.

Previous studies have shown an increased risk of low birth weight and preterm birth in children conceived through assisted reproductive technology (ART), but relatively little about long-term growth and weight gain. There is information.

Parents and their children conceived through ART may be reassured that this may mean they are slightly smaller and lighter from childhood to adolescence, but these differences have no health implications. Not likely.

The study found that those who conceived using ART were, on average, shorter, lighter and thinner from childhood to early adolescence than their peers who conceived naturally.

However, the differences were small at all ages and decreased with older age.

Dr Ahmed Al Hakeem, senior research associate in epidemiology at the University of Bristol, and lead author of the study, said: “This is important work.

“The concept of ART has grown over the last three decades.

“Only one in 30 children in the UK has been conceived by ART, so we would expect an average of one child per primary school class to have been conceived this way.

“Parents and their children conceived through ART may be reassured that this may mean they are somewhat shorter and lighter from childhood to adulthood, but these differences have no health implications. Not likely to fall.

“We recognize that it is important that as more people who conceive through ART become adults, we continue to look for any potential health risks at older ages.”

An international research group from the Assisted Reproductive Technology and Future Health (ART-Health) Cohort Collaboration looked at whether conception through ART – which mostly involves IVF – is associated with growth, weight and body mass index from childhood to adulthood. It was fat.

ART options include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and donor sperm (donor insemination) or eggs (egg donation).

Using data from 158,000 European, Asian Pacific and Canadian children conceived by ART, the data sample included 8,600 children from Bristol Children’s in the 1990s.

Peter Thomson, chief executive of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “One in seven couples in the UK experience difficulty conceiving, leading to around 53,000 patients seeking fertility treatment each year. IVF or donor insemination).

“The results of this study will come as a welcome relief to patients who begin treatment in the hope of one day having healthy children of their own.

“Health outcomes in children conceived using assisted reproductive technology are a high priority for the HFEA and we monitor the latest research and provide information for patients and professionals.

“Anyone considering fertility treatment can access this and other high-quality impartial information on fertility treatment and licensed UK clinics at www.hfea.gov.uk.”

The results have been published in JAMA Network Open.