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Aurora magazine

The genetic differences in IVF disappear over time

Assisted fertilization technologies like IVF seem to leave their mark on genes. In fact, children conceived with these technologies manifest variants of genes, many of which are measurable at birth.

A study published in Nature proves that these signs, however, disappear over time, usually by adulthood. People conceived in this way are even healthier than average. The researchers measured the epigenetic profile of 158 people conceived with assisted reproduction.

They compared it to that of 75 other people, conceived instead in a natural way. Furthermore, they divided the first group into two: those conceived with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and those conceived with the intratubal transfer of gametes (GIFT). Both techniques require stimulation of the ovaries. Scientists analyzed the DNA of adult volunteers - all between 22 and 35 - and when they were children. None of the adults conceived with assisted reproduction showed above-average health problems, although the samples of when they were children showed variations.

Comparing the samples of adults and children, in fact, clear epigenetic changes occurred over time have emerged. Most of the variants that were present as children are absent in the most recent samples. This suggests that they are resolved naturally over time. It is therefore likely that the type of conception does not affect the activity of genes in the long run.