IVF children have a better quality of life because because parents feel lucky to have them, study shows
- A study has found IVF could lead to a better quality of life in adulthood
- Researchers compared 193 people conceived using ‘assisted reproduction’
- Those whose parents had medical help to get pregnant were significantly happier in their personal relationships, sex lives and support from friends
Being born through IVF could lead to a better quality of life in adulthood, a study has found.
Researchers compared 193 people conceived using ‘assisted reproduction’ (such as IVF) with 86 people who were conceived naturally, all aged between 22 and 35.
Those whose parents had medical help to get pregnant were significantly happier with their personal relationships, support from friends, sex lives and quality of life.
The study, by Monash University in Australia, in the journal Human Fertility, suggests parents who conceive through assisted reproduction ‘have a particularly strong desire for and commitment to parenthood and feel lucky’ to have them.
And this ‘may make them more likely to adopt an authoritative parenting style – characterised by having high expectations on children – while simultaneously providing warmth and support’.
IVF can lead to a better quality of live, a study has found in people aged between 22 and 35
Dr Karin Hammarberg, who led the study, said: ‘Our findings suggest that being ART-conceived can provide some advantages on quality of life in adulthood, independent of other psychosocial factors.
‘Together with previous evidence that adults conceived by ART have similar physical health to those who were naturally conceived, this is reassuring for people who were conceived with ART – and those who need ART to conceive.’
The study looked at adults aged 22 to 35 who filled out a 24-item questionnaire on their quality of life.
This included three questions on social relationships, for which people conceived using assisted reproduction had higher scores.
There were eight questions on their general environment, including their happiness with where they lived, financial situation, access to leisure activities and feelings of safety.
People whose parents did not conceive naturally also scored higher on these measures for quality of life.
The study states: ‘It is possible that people who achieve parenthood after ART have a particularly strong desire for and commitment to parenthood and feel lucky to have had a successful outcome.
‘This may make them more likely to adopt an authoritative parenting style which is characterised by having high expectations on children, while simultaneously providing warmth and support.’
Evidence suggests this parenting style could make people born to couples who have had IVF more well-adjusted, at least when they are younger.
Since the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in the UK in 1978, more than 390,000 children have been born through assisted reproduction.
Dr Hammarberg said: ‘Children conceived via ART are nowadays a substantial part of the population – and it’s important to continue to evaluate the long-term effects of ART on their physical health and wellbeing as they progress through adolescence into adulthood.’