Can IVF cause developmental delays?

Please note that the information contained on this site was correct at the time it was posted. We are as diligent as possible in updating the information on this website. While we constantly strive to provide quality information, please be aware that there may have been subsequent changes which make the information outdated at the time you are accessing it.

Controversies of IVF

In vitro fertilization has been practiced for over 30 years now. In this time this procedure has struggled with false accusations and myths about abnormalities, weird stigmas, a sin against god, overpopulation etc. Another issue was the alleged possibility that it could be bad for the developmental health of the child. There were theories that IVF babies could have developmental delays. Although we know that some groups cannot be convinced even with research and evidence brought forward by scientific methods we know now that this is also a false accusation.

Looking for "best" IVF clinic abroad?
We analyse your needs, egg donor availability, destination preferences and find top IVF Clinics for you.

IVF development delays research

Couples who struggle with infertility very often decide to undergo IVF to create a family. The accusations about developmental delays among IVF children has been refuted with the latest research which shows that an average IVF child has no significant problems with development. The only difference is the way they are brought to this world. .

However the speculations continued so scientists and doctors started a research to monitor the effect the IVF treatment might have on the development of the foetus, the mother’s womb and the future child. Such a study was an important and unevitable step in the process of learning more about IVF children’s health.

Studies results show that out of all the children who were conceived by artificial insemination, 13% had developmental delays. This could seem an alarming number for someone who is not familair with the subject, however the results also pointed out that 18% of the children who were conceived naturally also had developmental delays. In consequence it clearly shows there is no significance to the above allegations.

More IVF research

Older research show that children who were conceived with fertility treatments do not have any developmental delays in comparison to the children that were conceived in a natural pregnancy. Another older studies confirming there are no developmental delays in IVF children was done by the Copenhagen University Hospital’s Fertility Clinic in Denmark.

Other factors affecting children’s development

Artificial reproduction techniques is not of course the only reason which needs to be taken into account when looking for developmental delays. Most of the couples reaching out for IVF or other type of fertility treatments are usually older and have some medical condition causing their infertility.

Both for naturally and artificially conceived children there are additional factors coming directly from their parents. Those factors are their age as mentioned, smoking, drinking, nutrition and education.

There were also other studies done after suggestions that children that were conceived by artificial reproduction could have increased risks of suffering from autism and speech underdevelopment. No surprise here either, the research showed no signs of these developmental problems to occur more frequently than among naturally conceived kids. If you are worried about any other risks and complications read our article on risks and complications of IVF with egg donation.