If you’re considering having an ART (assisted reproductive technology) procedure like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), you may be wondering if this method of conception could have any possible effects later on your child. That’s a natural worry, and a recent study in the journal Fertility and Sterility reported on a pilot study that looked at just that question.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, in Eatontown, asked parents of children ages 3 to 5 who had been conceived by ART to fill out a questionnaire about their child’s language, motor skills, behavior, and any autism-spectrum disorders. Compared to children who had been conceived without any medical help, the ART children had comparable body mass index and blood pressure; all of the kids, no matter how they were conceived, score in the normal range for development and autism.
That should be very reassuring news to couples struggling to conceive, and it seems to be in line with other recent research. A University of Iowa study of children released in September 2010 found that 423 kids conceived via IVF did as well academically on tests as 372 of their peers in grades 3 to 12 – and in fact they did better on two tests the state of Iowa gives its students. So that's one less thing you need to worry about!
Are you considering IUI or IVF, or have you already done it? What was your experience like?