Children concieved by IVF are just as healthy as children born naturally

Children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) are as healthy as their naturally-conceived peers, according to a study published on Wednesday.

The study, compiled by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), found that IVF children were healthy physically, mentally and emotionally by the time they reached school age, Xinhua news agency reports.

Lead researcher David Amor said the results should provide peace of mind for parents of IVF children as the number of births from sperm donor conception has doubled in Victoria since 2010. “Women and couples who are choosing donors put a lot of thought and effort selecting them,” the report quoted Amor as telling the Australian media.

“The IVF services put a lot of effort into recruiting donors. The information the recipient gets about the donor is fairly minimal,” he added.

Amor said, “There’s some general health screening, but we don’t know if these men are representational of the general population. Given IVF is undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of the demand, these findings should be reassuring for parents.”

For this study, the mothers of 224 Victorian IVF children were asked to fill out a survey on the health and well-being of their kids as well as themselves. Results indicated that donor-conceived children had more special health needs than naturally-conceived children but IVF children generally had a healthier family life, the report said.

Amor said that both of those results could be explained by the parents of IVF children being more protective of their own kids.

He said that researchers would now move on to study the health of IVF children who are now in their own child-bearing years.

For soon-to-be-parents: Our weekly wrap of key findings on pregnancy and IVF treatment

Whether you’re a pregnant woman, or a couple trying to conceive, you’re bound to receive advice from various quarters. However, it’s best to rely on medical research while making health and lifestyle choices. We round up 5 of the latest findings on pregnancy.

1) Cut down your sugar intake

Women, consuming a lot of sugar during pregnancy might double the chance of your kid’s tendency to develop asthma. A recent study involving 9,000 mother and children pairs, found strong positive associations with allergy and allergic asthma. The sugar link with asthma may be explained by high intakes of fructose triggering an immune response leading to inflammation in developing lungs.

 

2) Go in for fertility treatment without fear

Past research has suggested that undergoing IVF treatments increases a couple’s stress levels. However, despite the potential strain, going through with it can actually benefit your relationship, new research has revealed.

 

3) Cancer survivors are less likely to get pregnant

Cancer treatments often affect fertility and damage the ovary and uterus. According to a new research, cancer survivors are 38% less likely to get pregnant. The research findings also emphasised on the need for better access to fertility preservation in girls and young women.

 

In IVF treatments, men’s age is also important. (Shutterstock)

4) Dad’s age matters too in IVF treatment

When it comes to IVF treatment, while the woman’s age is important, men’s age also plays a role. It turns out, men too have a ticking biological clock. Essentially, a new research suggests that the older the man, the lesser the chances of live birth.

5) Here’s how to increase your chance of a successful pregnancy through IVF

If you’re opting for an IVF treatment, more eggs retrieved can boost your chance of success. New research shows that a higher number of eggs retrieved in an IVF treatment cycle is associated with more chromosomally normal embryos available for transfer.