Length of time to pregnancy may influence development

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Taking a long time to conceive may be associated with minor neurodevelopmental issues in a child, according to research. This implies that weakened fertility could be a significant factor in any developmental issues that occur.

There are known risks with fertility treatment

Weakened fertility is defined as not becoming pregnant naturally after 12 months of using no birth control. For families who use fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy, those babies are at a greater risk for low birth weight and premature birth. Some other research has suggested that in vitro fertilization may have some link to children born with birth defects.

Children in study were natural and IVF babies

For this study, researchers analyzed the neurological development of 209 children when they were two years old. These children were all born to parents who had some difficulty conceiving taking between 1.6 and 13 years to conceive. Most of the parents used a fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy. The researchers examined posture and muscle tone of the children as well as eye-hand coordination and fine/gross motor function and reflexes.

30% increased risk for neurological issues

Results showed that less than 8% of the children had neurological issues were found more commonly in children whose parents had taken the longest to conceive. Once adjusting for other factors such as age they found that a longer time to become pregnancy as linked to a 30% elevated risk of giving birth to a child with mild neurodevelopmental problems.

Subfertility may play a role

“In conclusion, the present data suggest that increased time to pregnancy is associated with suboptimal neurological development. This implies that factors associated with subfertility may play a role in the genesis of neurodevelopmental problems,” according to the authors who published their report in Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Source: MedicalNewsToday


 
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