According to a report published by the University of Iowa, children
conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are just as smart as
their naturally conceived peers from grades 3 to 12. Data went so far as to reveal higher test scores for children conceived by IVF on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Iowa Test for Educational Development. The study was published in Human Reproduction.
Researchers compared test scores for 423 children conceived by IVF in Iowa to 372 children in the same age and gender group. Comparisons were made among children who attended the same school system to eliminate potential differences in test outcomes based on different teaching methods. IVF methods, parental characteristics and child characteristics were also taken into consideration.
Children born via IVF earned higher test scores than their peers, but researchers are not positive IVF is the sole reason why test scores were elevated. Women who underwent IVF tended to be older and more educated. Couples also had a lower rate of divorce. These factors could have directly affected test scores.
Differences in ICF procedures such as the use of fresh eggs vs. frozen eggs or different insemination techniques did not alter test results. Lead researcher, Van Voorhis believes some of the connection has to do with parents who seek fertility help to conceive. “… parents of children conceive by IVF might be older and have higher levels of education than average.”
Multiples were not as lucky as singlets. Singlets scored higher than multiples on standardized testing when both were conceived through IVF and twins scored higher than triplets. However, it is important to note that even triplets scored higher than singlets who were naturally conceived.
Source: Van Voorhis, Lindsay Mains MD, M Bridget Zimmerman PhD, Jill Blaine, Barbara Stegmann MD, Amy Sparks PhD, Timothy Ansley PhD.