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Test tube children develop mentally normal
Date:7/10/2013

Whether a child is conceived naturally or in a Petri dish in an incubator has no bearing at all on the child's mental health. However, researchers have identified a small but increased risk of developing a mental disorder such as autism, ADHD or behavioural problems in children whose mothers only received medical treatment to stimulate ovulation and egg development before insemination.

This is the result of a new research project from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, which has compared the risk of mental illness in artificially fertilised and naturally conceived children. The study will be published today in the highly acclaimed British Medical Journal (BMJ).

In the project, researchers compared children aged up to 17 years from three different groups: naturally conceived children, children of mothers who only received medical treatment to become pregnant, and a group of children conceived using the so-called test-tube method, where fertilisation takes place outside the uterus.

The general conclusion of the study is that test-tube babies are generally just as mentally and physically healthy as naturally conceived children. On the other hand, the researchers found a measurable increase in the occurrence of mental disorders in children whose mothers received help to become pregnant through insemination treatment in the form of hormone stimulation to promote egg development and ovulation. Yet there is no obvious explanation for these results, according to one of the researchers behind the study, Bjrn Bay, MD and PhD fellow at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital.

"In the study, we have taken account of the mother's age, education, smoking habits, mental history and other factors which may otherwise influence the risk. We can also discount the various types of fertility drugs which are given prior to becoming pregnant. If we suspected that the drugs were having an impact on the childre
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Contact: Bjørn Bay
bjornbay@me.com
(45) 40-75-45-75
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert

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