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The HFEA respond to study about effects of fertility treatment on children’s development

Concerns about effects of fertility treatment on children’s development are unwarranted, say researchers from the University of Bristol.

The study, which has been published in JAMA Network Open today, shows that differences in the growth, weight, and body fat levels of children conceived through fertility treatment are small, and no longer apparent by late adolescence.

In response to the findings, Peter Thompson, Chief Executive, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said:

“Around 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving in the UK which leads to around 53,000 patients a year having fertility treatment (IVF or Donor Insemination). The findings from this study will come as a welcome relief to these patients who begin treatment in the hope of one day having healthy children of their own.

“Health outcomes in children conceived using Assisted Reproductive Technology is a high priority for the HFEA and we monitor the latest research and provide information for patients and professionals. Anyone considering fertility treatment can access this, and other high-quality impartial information on fertility treatments and UK licenced clinics at”


Notes to editors

  • The study is being published in JAMA Network Open on Tuesday 26 July 2022. Once the embargo lifts, the paper will be available at: DOI: 10.1001/Jamanetworkopen.2022.22106
  • For media enquiries relating to the publication of this paper, please contact, Tel: 07717 099216 or, Tel: 07956 268441

About the HFEA

  • The HFEA is the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment and research using human embryos.
  • Set up in 1990 by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, the HFEA is responsible for licensing, monitoring, and inspecting fertility clinics to ensure patients and everyone born through fertility treatment receives high quality care.
  • The HFEA is an ‘arm’s length body’ of the Department for Health and Social Care, working independently from Government providing free, clear, and impartial information about fertility treatment, clinics and egg, sperm and embryo donation.
  • The HFEA is funded by licence fees, IVF treatment fees and a grant from UK central government. For more information visit,

Review date: 26 July 2024