This release is available in Spanish.
Barcelona, Spain: Couples who need IVF in order to become pregnant can be reassured that this will not lead to developmental problems in early infancy, a Dutch researcher told the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 8 July). Dr. Karin Middelburg, from the University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, said that the study, which looked at the quality of general movements in infants at the age of three months, showed that singleton children born after IVF were not at increased risk for abnormal general movements. This suggests that they are not at increased risk of cerebral palsy (CP) or other neurodevelopmental disorders compared with their peers born from natural conception in sub-fertile couples who were referred to the fertility clinic for fertility evaluation or treatment, she said.
In the past, there has been concern that babies born after IVF were at risk of such disorders because of the association with preterm birth and low birth weight, so this was an important question to answer, said Dr. Middelburg. The research team investigated 68 singleton babies born after IVF/ICSI with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (the conventional method, where the ovaries are stimulated with hormones to produce multiple oocytes (egg cells)) and 57 singletons born following IVF/ICSI in a modified natural cycle of oocyte production, where the one egg cell which develops naturally is utilised. In this latter method, the need for hormonal medication is much reduced, although minimal hormonal support is still necessary in order to prevent spontaneous ovulation. Ninety singleton babies born to sub-fertile parents who conceived naturally during fertility evaluation or while on the waiting list for treatment were used as a control group.<
|Contact: Mary Rice|
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology