IVF procedures are not, but subfertility is associated with neurological condition of 9-year-old offspring

Machiel Drenth Olivares, Derk B. Kuiper, Maaike L. Haadsma, Kirsten R. Heineman, Maas Jan Heineman, Mijna Hadders-Algra

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In vitro fertilization (IVF) is not associated with neurological abnormalities in offspring's early childhood. Yet, it is unclear whether this is also true for school age. Neither do we know the role of parental subfertility in offspring's neurological development. The present study examined neurological condition at 9 years of 57 singletons born after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation IVF (COH-IVF), 46 singletons born after modified natural cycle IVF (MNC-IVF) and 66 singletons born to subfertile parents after natural conception (Sub-NC). To assess the effect of subfertility, the groups were pooled to form a subfertile group, and compared with a prospectively followed fertile reference group (n = 282). The sensitive Minor Neurological Dysfunction (MND) examination was used, resulting in the detailed Neurological Optimality Score (NOS) and the prevalence of the clinically relevant complex MND. Neurological condition of the three subfertile groups did not differ significantly: median NOS was 53 in each subfertile group and the prevalence of complex MND in the three subfertile groups was 30%, 37% and 36%, respectively. However, the NOS was lower and the prevalence of complex MND higher in children born to subfertile couples than in children of fertile couples (adjusted mean difference [95% CI]: −4.48 [−5.53 to −3.42]) and adjusted OR [95% CI]: 5.13 [2.60–10.16], respectively). We conclude that ovarian hyperstimulation, in vitro procedures, and the combination of both were not associated with a less favourable neurological outcome of 9-year-old singletons. However, the presence of parental subfertility was associated with less favourable neurological outcome of offspring at 9 years follow up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
JournalEarly human development
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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