Putting the Risks of IVF in Patients' Hands
Australia is home to some renowned fertility specialists. They've also developed a reputation for research on the offspring of IVF, and the most recent information is now being provided in brochure form to patients in Victoria. The brochure is produced by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, an Australian institute that helps regulate the use of A.R.T. in that country.
The news about how "The Children of ART" are doing is important to the patients I see at Houston Fertility Center (Here's a link to a related newsletter, now archived on CallDrK.com.) IVF has been helping people conceive babies for more than 30 years now, so current patients can benefit from long-term studies on their development.
So far, the news is overwhelmingly positive, as this brief, related news piece from the Herald Sun explains. One of the biggest hurdles to health for both baby and mom is multiple pregnancy (often a precursor to preterm and premature births), and the fine-tuning of IVF techniques has resulted in far fewer of those. The article also mentions parenting anxiety as being more prevalent in IVF mothers, but I'd wager there are some cultural differences there. Seems to me that in this day and age, most savvy moms have a lot on their plate to worry about, so some anxiety comes with the territory -- no matter how your baby came to be.
The data on a topic as broad as "development of children born from IVF" will always be changing and sometimes debatable. The important thing is that it's out there, that researchers are continuing to explore with long-term studies, and the information is in the patients' hands.
~Dr. Sonja Kristiansen