Tuesday 28 June 2022 12:06 AM Babies born through IVF end up being smarter... but are more prone to ... trends now
Babies born through IVF are smarter but more prone to mental health problems than naturally conceived children, research suggests.
Experts at the University of Helsinki followed 280,000 youngsters born in Finland between 1995 and 2000 until their 18th birthday.
Babies born using assisted conception techniques performed better in class and were less likely to drop out of secondary school.
However, they were at a slightly higher risk of being diagnosed with a mental health problem — particularly anxiety or depression.
Researchers said better schooling performance among IVF babies may be down to richer families being more likely to afford the procedure.
The increased risk of a mental health problems remained even when children born through IVF were compared to naturally conceived siblings.
Parents who've gone through IVF might be more attentive to their child's health and take them to the doctor's more often, the researchers theorised.
A team from the University of Helsinki looked at nearly 280,000 youngsters born in Finland between 1995 and 2000. Around one in 20 were born through IVF, artificial insemination and ovulation induction — known as medically assisted reproduction (MAR). While the group scored higher in school tests and were less likely to drop out of high school, they were also one per cent more likely to suffer mental health problems. Pictured: stock of close up in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant (conceive) despite having regular unprotected sex.
Around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving.
About 84 per cent of couples will conceive naturally within a year if they have regular unprotected sex — defined as every two to three days.
For couples who have been trying to conceive for more than three years without success, the likelihood of getting pregnant naturally within the next year is one in four, or less.
Britons are advised to speak to their GP if they were unable to get pregnant after one year of trying.
Infertility is usually caused by a lack of regular ovulation, poor quality semen, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes and endometriosis.
Fertility can also be impacted by age, weight, sexually transmitted infections, smoking, alcohol, exposure to pesticides and stress.
Fertility treatments include medicines to encourage regular ovulation, surgical procedures to repair fallopian tubes