London: IVF babies born from frozen embryos are heavier and healthier than those born from fresh embryos, a study has shown.

The study involved measuring the weight and length of gestation for 384 babies born after fresh embryo transfer and 108 born after frozen embryo transfer.

All the babies were single births, with no twin or triplet pregnancies included in the study.

The proportion of low birth weight babies (less than 2.5 kg) was lower for babies from frozen embryos at 3.7 percent, as compared to 10.7 percent for babies from fresh embryos.

Frozen embryo babies typically had a longer gestation period (0.65 weeks longer) than those born from fresh embryos, the research also found, as reported.

Lead researcher, Suzanne Cawood, deputy head of embryology at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, London, said: 'For all assisted reproduction technologies, it is important that we ensure the procedures promote optimal health in the resulting children throughout their lives.'

'Our study suggests that babies born from frozen embryos have a significantly longer gestation period and are significantly heavier at birth compared to babies from fresh embryos,' said Cawood.

'This is important because prematurity and low birth weight is both risk factors for poorer health later in life and is linked to higher rates of behavioural and learning difficulties. This means that resulting babies may potentially be healthier if frozen embryos are transferred rather than fresh embryos,' said Cawood.

In 2008, Danish scientists also found that babies born after frozen embryo transfer had higher birth weights than those born from fresh embryos. They suggested only top quality embryos survive the freezing and thawing process. These findings were presented at the British Fertility Society Annual Meeting, Leeds.

(Agencies)