HealthDay News — Cognitive, motor, and language development at age 2 years is similar for children born after assisted reproductive technologies (ART) conception and natural conception, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jacques Balayla, MD, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study to compare cognitive, motor, and language development at 2 years of age in children born after natural conception versus those born after ART. They recruited 2366 pregnant women, of whom 278 conceived with ART (ovarian stimulation, intrauterine sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or in vitro maturation). At 24 months postpartum, 175 children in the ART group and 1345 in the natural conception group underwent neurodevelopmental assessment.

The researchers found that children born after ART showed no difference in the Bayley scales’ cognitive scores (B1 = −1.6), composite motor scores (B1 = −1.33), or MacArthur-Bates language scores (B1 = −0.28) after adjustment for relevant confounding variables. There were no significant differences when comparing independent ART techniques or when comparing in vivo or in vitro techniques.

“Children born after ART had similar cognitive, motor, and language development as children born after natural conception at 2 years of age,” the authors wrote. “These findings may be useful in the clinical counseling of patients undergoing ART.”


Balayla J, Sheehy O, Fraser WD, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcomes after assisted reproductive technologies [published online January 9, 2017]. Obstet Gynecol. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001837.