IVF does not contribute to children’s developmental delays

According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, children conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF) have no higher chance in exhibiting developmental delays than children conceived without fertility medicine. The findings may allay longstanding concerns that conception after infertility treatment could affect the embryo at a sensitive stage and result in unforeseen disability, delay, or difference.

According to the study, however, children conceived via infertility treatments are no more likely to have a developmental delay than children conceived without such treatments. 1,800 children conceived via IVF were compared to a cohort of 4,000 children born without the aid of fertility medicine and were followed to age 7. There was no statistical difference between the groups in terms of developmental delays. The only differences could be attributed to the greater prevalence of multiples in the IVF group compared to singletons. Once controlled for the prevalence of multiple pregnancies, outcomes were the same.

Because some differences cannot be tracked by age 7, the study authors plan to continue monitoring outcomes of the two cohorts.


NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2016, January 4). Infertility treatments do not appear to contribute to developmental delays in children: Researchers find no risk by age 7 from in vitro fertilization, other widespread treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160104125319.htm