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IVF-conceived people have better quality of life

Dr Maria Botcharova

Progress Educational Trust

04 April 2022

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[BioNews, London]

A recent study found that adults conceived through fertility treatment may have a better quality of life in adulthood than those who were naturally conceived. 

Research has already investigated the health of IVF-conceived children, but data about adults is limited because IVF was first implemented relatively recently, in 1978.

'Our findings suggest that being ART [assisted reproductive technology]-conceived can provide some advantages on quality of life in adulthood, independent of other psychosocial factors,' said Dr Karin Hammarberg, lead author of the study at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

The study looked at a group of 193 adults conceived through fertility treatment and 86 naturally conceived adults at two separate time points: when they were between 18 and 28 years old and then again between the ages of 22 and 35. 

The study also showed that regardless of their method of conception, adults who were in a better psychological and home environment at the first time point, were more likely to have higher quality of life at the second. 

'Perhaps unsurprisingly, we also found that, independently of how the person was conceived, having a better relationship with parents, less psychological distress, and a better family financial situation in young adulthood contributed to a better adult quality of life,' Dr Hammarberg added.

The psychological wellbeing of the two groups at both time points was assessed using the World Health Organisation Quality of Life – Brief Assessment (WHOQoL-BREF). It is based around four aspects of wellbeing. Physical, which concerns pain, sleep and energy levels; psychosocial, which includes questions on feelings, memory and learning; social relationships, on social support and relationships; and a fourth on their surrounding environment.

Statistical tests showed that adults conceived through fertility treatment had significantly higher scores in the social relationships and environment sections of the test at the second time point.

The researchers speculated that the positive results for children conceived through fertility treatment could reflect the fact that their parents may have a particularly strong desire for a commitment to parenthood.

The two groups also completed a Kessler Psychological Distress questionnaire and an interview about psychological wellbeing at the first time point. The latter included questions around sexual orientation, financial situation, perceptions of their own weight, family relationships, friendships and exercise.

The study was published in the journal Human Fertility


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© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 04 April 2022   Date Updated: 04 April 2022
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