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Biol Reprod. 2014 Jul;91(1):27. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.113.117226. Epub 2014 Jun 4.

Physical and mental development of children after levonorgestrel emergency contraception exposure: a follow-up prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, MOE-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Obstetrics, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Child Health Care, International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China.
4
Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, Shanghai, China.
5
Department of Child Health Care, MOE-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
6
Department of Obstetrics, MOE-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China Yzujing@sohu.com.

Abstract

Levonorgestrel (LNG), a dedicated emergency contraception (EC) product, has been available over-the-counter in China for more than 14 yr. Although LNG-EC is considered to have no effects on the developing fetus if the contraceptive fails and pregnancy occurs, there have been a few studies specifically examining this issue. The purpose of this study was to compare the physical and mental development of children born after LNG-EC failure with that of a cohort of children born to mothers with no history of exposure to LNG or any teratogenic substances. A group of 195 children who were exposed to LNG-EC during their mothers' conception cycle (study group) were matched to a group of 214 children without exposure to LNG (control group). The physical and mental development of the children were evaluated and compared over a 2-yr period. There were four congenital malformations in the study group and three in the control group (2.1% vs. 1.4%, respectively, P > 0.05). Over the 2-yr follow-up period, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to children's weight, height, head circumference, and intelligence scores, and the values of all parameters of both groups were similar to those of the national standards. In summary, LNG-EC has no effect on the physical growth, mental development, or occurrence of birth defects in children born from pregnancies in which EC failed.

KEYWORDS:

childhood development; congenital malformations; emergency contraception; levonorgestrel; pregnancy

PMID:
24899575
DOI:
10.1095/biolreprod.113.117226
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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