Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Comparing health and development of young adults conceived with and without assisted reproductive technology

JHRU researchers Prof Jane Fisher and Dr Karin Hammarberg were members of the research team that published findings of a study into the health and development of young adults who were conceived with IVF, in the journal Fertility andSterility last week. 

Before recruitment for this study started they explored the feasibility and acceptability of contacting families to participate in research up to two decades or more after assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment. This qualitative study concluded that families appreciate the need for follow-up studies and are agreeable to be approached to participate in them.

The subsequent follow-up study is the largest to date of IVF-conceived young adults and its main finding is that most children conceived via assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) grow into healthy young adults, with a quality of life, physical development and educational achievement comparable to those of their non-ART conceived peers. 

However, they have more hospitalisations in the first 18 years of life and are more likely to have asthma and hay fever. 

"We are very proud to have contributed to this important study," add Dr Hammarberg and Prof Fisher. "As this is the largest study ever of adults who were conceived as a result of IVF, we are very keen to study their health into the future.  Almost all the young adults who participated in the study agreed to be contacted for further research and in the next stage we hope to do a clinical review which will tell us more about long-term health after IVF conception." 

Dr Hammarberg and Prof Fisher will now contribute to the 'translation' of the study's findings - incorporating them into accessible resources for people contemplating IVF.

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