Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Childrens Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

Recent evidence suggests that the initial association of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in children born after IVF was overstated.


Mary L. Hediger, Ph.D., Erin A. Bell, Ph.D., Charlotte M. Druschel, M.D., Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 2, Pages 311-317, February 2013


Initial reports suggested that children conceived with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be at increased risk for a spectrum of developmental disabilities. Evolving evidence suggests that some of the early risks may have been overstated when not taking plurality of birth or gestational age at delivery into consideration, since both are independent risk factors for neurodevelopmental disabilities arising from alterations in structure and function or limitations in activities. Continued research is needed to overcome lingering data gaps in light of the equivocal literature for many neurodevelopmental disabilities relative to ART, increasing utilization of services and changes in the clinical management of infecund couples such as the adoption of natural cycles or in vitro maturation treatment options. Population-based cohorts with longitudinal assessment of the multifaceted nature of neurodevelopment across critical and sensitive windows is paramount for the development of empirically based guidance for clinical and population health.

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