IVF low child intelligence link

Certain forms of IVF treatment are significantly associated with an increased risk of low intelligence in children, a major study has shown.

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Study 'shows low risk of IVF'

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in reproductive and developmental medicine at the University of Sheffield and chairman of the British Fertility Society, said those embarking on IVF should feel reassured by the reports findings, he said:

This is a very important study which defines the risks of IVF children being born with two neurodevelopmental disorders. It is a large study and is exactly the kind we need if we are to give patients accurate information before they embark on treatment.

The main message of the paper is a positive one, suggesting that any risk of these disorders is very low, or absent, in comparison to children conceived naturally. However it does highlight the importance of preferentially using standard IVF rather than Icsi, and also using ejaculated sperm rather than those recovered surgically from the testicle, in situations where it is possible to do so.

Patients about to embark on treatment should not worry and should discuss any concerns about their treatment plan with the team responsible for their care.

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