Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with IVF that forces many to believe that it is unnatural and can lead to developmental delays in children. This malicious rumor is being put to rest thanks to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
The study concludes that IVF does not contribute to developmental delays up to age three like some people had previously believed.
The reason for such an assumption was due to the fact that many couples with fertility issues who use IVF treatments are older, and health concerns increase as the mother ages (fertility starts to decline around age 30 for most women). The study proved that children conceived through IVF showed no developmental lags compared to children who were conceived naturally.
Data was collected from participants through questionnaires during the child’s first three years of life. The study reviewed data of over 5,840 children.
Researchers and fertility experts said children conceived through artificial insemination showed no greater risk for learning disabilities such as autism or language and speech disorders. In short, IVF babies are no different from their naturally conceived counterparts past the point of conception.
In an article from United Press International, Dr. Edwina Yeung explains why the study was so important to conduct. She states, "When we began our study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on U.S. children. Our results provide reassurance to the thousands of couples who have relied on these treatments to establish their families."
This study brings much needed peace of mind to the nearly 7.4 million women who have received a form of infertility service in their lifetime.