Pregnancy can prove to be the most frustrating time in the relationship of couples who are making an effort to become parents. For women, the majority of their time is spent making sure they are fertile enough to conceive. A new study claims that time spent ensuring fertility may be the worst thing for a child's development.

Researchers at the University of Groningen in Denmark have determined that weak fertility patterns can have a damaging effect on a child's neurological maturity. Impaired fertility in women is primarily caused by an endocrine dysfunction which can be reversed if treated early.

It becomes problematic when attempts to improve fertility, such as in vitro fertilization, have an adverse effect that causes other developmental problems like premature birth and muscle growth.

The Dutch research team analyzed the brain activity of 209 children whose parents experienced difficulties becoming pregnant. For examination purposes, parents who failed to conceive after one year were chosen for the study.

Children were assessed by their movement, posture, muscle tone, reflexes, and eye-hand coordination, researchers also took the parents' age into account, the Daily Mail reported.

The findings concluded that 17 children out of the sample of 209 were affected by some kind of neurological deficiency, around eight percent.

On average, the parents of these children took around four years before they became pregnant. Parents of children with no signs of decreased brain activity took an average of two years to eight months to conceive.

The entire study was published online in the Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.