Health outcomes of children born after IVF/ICSI: a review of current expert opinion and literature

B. C. J. M. Fauser*, P. Devroey, K. Diedrich, B. Balaban, M. Bonduelle, H. A. Delemarre-van de Waal, C. Estella, D. Ezcurra, J. P. M. Geraedts, C. M. Howles, L. Lerner-Geva, J. Serna, D. Wells

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Sixth Evian Annual Reproduction (EVAR) Workshop Group Meeting was held to evaluate the impact of IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection on the health of assisted-conception children. Epidemiologists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists and geneticists presented data from published literature and ongoing research on the incidence of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities and congenital malformations in assisted-conception versus naturally conceived children to reach a consensus on the reasons for potential differences in outcomes between these two groups. IVF-conceived children have lower birthweights and higher peripheral fat, blood pressure and fasting glucose concentrations than controls. Growth, development and cognitive function in assisted-conception children are similar to controls. The absolute risk of imprinting disorders after assisted reproduction is less than 1%. A direct link between assisted reproduction and health-related outcomes in assisted-conception children could not be established. Women undergoing assisted reproduction are often older, increasing the chances of obtaining abnormal gametes that may cause deviations in outcomes between assisted-conception and naturally conceived children. However, after taking into account these factors, it is not clear to what extent poorer outcomes are due to the assisted reproduction procedures themselves. Large-scale, multicentre, prospective epidemiological studies are needed to investigate this further and to confirm long-term health consequences in assisted-conception children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-182
JournalReproductive Biomedicine Online
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • assisted reproduction
  • imprinting disorders
  • intracytoplasmic sperm injection
  • infertility
  • IVF
  • children outcome

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