Babies born prematurely are more likely to fall unhappy in love at a later age, according to research that has investigated more than four million people (stock images)

People born prematurely may have bad luck in love, research suggests.

A survey of more than four million people found that those born under the age of 37 weeks were nearly one third (28 percent) less likely to ever be in a romantic relationship.

They were also 2.3 times more likely to be lifelong virgins than those delivered in full term, the research adds.

Premature babies are more likely to develop learning difficulties and mental health problems later in life.

This can make them shy, socially awkward, and less likely to take risks.

The British scientists behind the recent study believe that these traits make it more difficult for preemies to control & # 39; social transitions, such as finding a partner & # 39 ;.

Babies born prematurely are more likely to fall unhappy in love at a later age, according to research that has investigated more than four million people (stock images)

Babies born prematurely are more likely to fall unhappy in love at a later age, according to research that has investigated more than four million people (stock images)

The research was conducted by the University of Warwick and led by Dr. Marina Goulart de Mendonça from the Psychology Department.

& # 39; The finding that adults born in advance are less likely to have a partner, have sex and become parents, does not seem to be explained by a higher degree of disability, & # 39; said Dr. Goulart de Mendonça.

& # 39; Previously born children are more likely to have poor social contact in childhood.

& # 39; (This) makes it more difficult for them to control social transitions, such as finding a partner, which in turn has proven to promote your well-being. & # 39;

It has been shown that relationships increase our health, happiness and quality of life, the researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Studies have yielded conflicting results as to whether prematurely being born influences the later love life of a baby.

To better understand this, the researchers analyzed 21 studies, with a total of 4.4 million participants, on the subject.

The results showed that premature adults were 28 percent less likely to form a romantic relationship than those who had given birth.


About 10 percent of all pregnancies worldwide result in early birth, defined as a birth before 37 weeks.

When this happens, not all organs of the baby, including the heart and lungs, will be developed. They can also be underweight and smaller.

Tommy & # 39; s, a charity in the UK, says this could mean that the ancestors & # 39; are not ready for life outside the womb & # 39 ;.

Premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death in the US and UK, according to figures.

Babies born at an early stage account for around 1500 deaths in the UK every year. In the US, premature birth and complications are responsible for 17 percent of infant mortality.

Babies born prematurely are often taken to neonatal intensive care units where they are cared for 24 hours a day.

What are the chances of survival?

  • Less than 22 weeks is almost zero chance of survival
  • 22 weeks is around 10%
  • 24 weeks is around 60%
  • 27 weeks is around 89%
  • 31 weeks is around 95%
  • 34 weeks is equal to a baby born on full term

They were also 2.3 times less likely to ever be sexually active and 22 percent less likely to become parents one day.

The adults who were born prematurely, defined as less than 32 weeks, or extremely beforehand, less than 28 weeks, were particularly unhappy in love.

The results showed that the extremely premature participants were 3.2 times less likely to ever have sex.

& # 39; Prematurity is associated with a personality profile consisting of being timid, socially withdrawn, over-controlling and taking little risk & # 39; s looking for fun things & # 39 ;, the researchers wrote.

& # 39; These differences can predispose (prematurely born babies & # 39; s) to create greater difficulties in establishing romantic and peer relationships. & # 39;

The researchers think that this may be due to cognitive problems that develop as a result of less time in the womb.

When parents emphasize raising a premature newborn, they can also influence a person's social skills, they add.

Although premature babies are struggling to mate as adults, the study found that those who find love have just as meaningful relationships as their long-term counterparts.

The researchers argue that parents and schools should encourage children who were born prematurely to be social at a young age.

Study author Professor Dieter Wolke, of the psychology department, said: “Those who care for pre-born children should be more aware of the important role of social development and social integration for pre-age children.

& # 39; Because early-born children are more shy and shy, it helps them make friends and integrate into their age group to find romantic partners, have sexual relationships, and become parents. All this promotes well-being. & # 39;

However, the researchers emphasize that their study assessment did not take into account whether the participants suffered disability due to premature birth.

It also included a series of investigations in which the satisfaction of relationships and intimacy were assessed in a different way.

The researchers therefore argue for a smaller study that is aimed at a consistent outcome for all participants.

Research should also look at the & # 39; mechanisms by which biological and environmental factors merge & # 39; during the development of a premature baby, they add.

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