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IVF Not Tied to Worse Developmental, Educational Outcomes

Findings for assessments conducted both at 4 to 6 years and 7 to 9 years versus spontaneously conceived children

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — There are no differences in school-age childhood developmental and educational outcomes between in vitro fertilization (IVF) and spontaneously conceived children, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in PLOS Medicine.

Amber L. Kennedy, M.D., from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues examined the causal effect of IVF conception on primary school-age childhood developmental and educational outcomes versus outcomes associated with spontaneous conception. Analysis included 412,713 children born between 2005 and 2014.

The researchers observed no causal effect of IVF conception on the risk for developmental vulnerability at school entry compared with spontaneous conception (measured using Australian Early Developmental Census metrics at ages 4 to 6 years; adjusted risk ratio, 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.25). Similarly, at age 7 to 9 years, there was no causal effect of IVF conception on the National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy overall z score (adjusted mean difference, 0.030; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.018 to 0.077) compared with spontaneous conception. Sex at birth, age at assessment, language background other than English, socioeconomic status, maternal age, parity, and education were all adjusted for the models.

“These findings provide reassurance for current and prospective parents, as well as clinicians who are involved in IVF,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to IVF companies.

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