A study demonstrating normal growth and development of children from IVF and ICSI. Long-term studies are critical to reassure us of the safety of our work building families. This study focuses on physical development rather than intelligence. We can likely expect this group to provide other details from this group of young people.
Many of my patients are concerned about whether they might create birth defects in their children if they use IVF treatments. Too many internet and other rumors leave many people wary of ART. Almost every infertility treatment is controversial to someone but the general consensus is reassuring and this study adds to that body of evidence.
Growth of children conceived by IVF and ICSI up to 12 years of age
Recent studies have given conflicting results regarding growth in children born following assisted reproductive treatments up to the age of 18 years. It has been suggested that children conceived via IVF may be taller than naturally conceived children and that this may due to subtle epigenetic alteration of imprinted genes as a result of the IVF process. A prospective match-controlled study was performed to investigate the growth of children born in the UK following standard IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) up to the age of 12 years. The study assessed 143 IVF and 166 ICSI children with 173 matched naturally conceived controls. Primary end-points were height and weight at various time points: birth, 5 years, 7–9 years and 10–12 years. In addition, head circumference was assessed at birth. No significant differences were observed regarding head circumference, height and weight between the three groups at any of the time points. In conclusion, this preliminary study provides reassuring information regarding the growth of IVF and ICSI children up to 12 years. Further studies must continue to investigate the growth and other outcomes in assisted-conception children as they develop through puberty into early adulthood.