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International Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology

Vol. 6, Issue 1, Part A (2024)

Follow-up of children born from assisted reproductive techniques

Author(s):

Aida Azevedo, Diogo Fernandes da Rocha, Tatiana Moreira, Víctor Viana and Micaela Guardiano

Abstract:

Since the introduction of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) in 1978, there has been a notable increase in pregnancies obtained by these methods, mirroring the elevated rates of infertility. Concerns have emerged regarding potential birth complications and cognitive development issues in children conceived through ART. Studies assessing the impact of ART on children have been providing conflicting results, indicating potential predisposition to mental health issues in some cases and no elevated risks in others. These findings have been historically affected by previous policies, particularly those involving the transfer of multiple embryos, leading to a higher occurrence of twin pregnancies. To gather personal perspective, the authors conducted a retrospective observational study at a tertiary center in Oporto, Portugal. Among all children referred to the Neurodevelopment unit from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2020 (n = 2812), the authors selected 356 children: 298 conceived spontaneously and 58 conceived through ART. A comparison was made between the 298 premature children spontaneously conceived and 43 premature children conceived through ART. Despite ART premature children being more premature than those conceived naturally, no statistical difference was observed in terms of neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodevelopmental delays, or scores on the Griffiths Mental Developmental Scale. Nonetheless, a slight decrease in Griffiths Mental Developmental Scale scores were observed in the ART premature group, alongside lower kindergarten attendance. We anticipate that some of these discrepancies may be attributed to the non-random nature of our sample, as our country lacks a systematic policy for identifying individuals born through ART procedures. In light of these findings, the authors advocate for ongoing surveillance to validate results and address evolving concerns regarding the long-term impact of ART on child development.

Pages: 18-24  |  165 Views  72 Downloads


International Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology
How to cite this article:
Aida Azevedo, Diogo Fernandes da Rocha, Tatiana Moreira, Víctor Viana and Micaela Guardiano. Follow-up of children born from assisted reproductive techniques. Int. J. Pediatr. Neonatology 2024;6(1):18-24. DOI: 10.33545/26648350.2024.v6.i1a.64
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