There have always been initial concerns about the health and development of babies conceived through IVF and until recently it has been hard to determine if there are long term health problems.
As of last year, more than 8 million babies have been born as a result of IVF treatment and it is estimated that almost 1 in 25 Australian babies are born with the help of ART.
It hasn’t been easy to perform studies on the health and development of children conceived through IVF previously as it was a very new technology and the long-term effects were unknown, however since the IVF industry turned 40 in 2018, researchers have performed a number of thorough studies to help put the minds of all the parents at ease.
Studies have not only found that the babies conceived with the help of IVF are almost identical in milestone development to those conceived naturally, but studies have found that ART achieved possibly more milestones (90.6%) than the naturally conceived children (82.9%) at 1 year old.
Research has strongly suggested that the newer generations of IVF children may be at lower risk of lower birth-weights since the IVF industry has had vast improvements on the techniques used in the lab.
More importantly, a Dutch study following the health and development of children born from 1980-2001 from women treated with sub-fertility treatments found that there was no increased risk of the child developing cancer within the first 21 years of their life, an important and significant discovery that will put the minds of many parents at ease.
The important message from these studies for patients who are concerned about the long term health of their children conceived from fertility treatment, is that they can be reassured that not have an increased risk of cancer and the children appear to be developing normally.