Evaluation of the Growth Process of Infants Conceived by Assisted Reproductive Techniques at Royan Institute from Birth to 9 Months

Objective: Due to recent scientific progress in assisted reproductive techniques (ART), infertile couples can now become fertile. Thus, a number of infants in our country are the results of these costly interventions. This study has been undertaken to evaluate the physical growth process of different methods of ART infants by standard growth charts from birth until nine months of age. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 333 infants conceived through ART [intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF)] at Royan Institute. A sequential, non-random sampling method in a period of 22 months was used. Their growth was assessed by measuring infants' weight, height and head circumference, and physical examination. The growth patterns were calculated by recording the values in standard growth charts. The final analysis was done with SPSS version 16 and by using Chi-square test. Findings: In comparison with growth charts, the weights of one-third of the infants were less than two standard deviations (SD) at birth and one-fourth had head circumference less than three SD at birth. Low birth weight (LBW) infants were six times more than infants of normal population. From birth to six months of age, growth abnormalities were seen in a substantial number of infants. However, at nine months of age, there was no significant difference observed between infants conceived by different methods of ART (IVF and ICSI). Conclusion: Multiple births are the most important confounding factor impacting the growth process of ART infants. Multiple pregnancies can lead to low birth weight, height and head circumference, and growth abnormalities up to six months of age. This abnormality improves by increasing age of the infants.