The PEARL study (Prolonged Effects of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Record Linkage study for England) is looking at the health and wellbeing of women and their children after fertility treatment. Since 1991 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has collected information about all fertility treatment conducted in UK clinics, including whether the treatment was successful. Some of the babies in the HFEA register are now 28 years old, and many are in their teens.
The PEARL study aims to examine the health of the children, and their mothers, and to see if it differs from that of babies born without any fertility treatment. With the help of NHS-Digital we are creating a special new dataset that combines information about fertility treatment and health records from GP practices (via the Clinical Practice Research Datalink).