Assisted reproductive technology treatment increases obstetric and neonatal risks over that of the underlying infertility diagnosis

Judy E. Stern, Chia Ling Liu, Xiaohui Cui, Howard J. Cabral, Leslie V. Farland, Charles Coddington, Hafsatou Diop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment adds obstetric and neonatal risks over and above that of underlying infertility-related diagnoses. Design: Retrospective study of linked ART, birth certificate, hospital discharge data, and outpatient insurance claims data in Massachusetts (2013–2017). Setting: Database. Patient(s): Singleton deliveries in women with and without diagnoses of tubal disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), other ovulatory conditions, or endometriosis, identified from the insurance claims and ART data. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): ART and non-ART pregnancy and delivery outcomes were compared with each other and with women with no history of infertility or usage of fertility treatment (fertile group). Generalizing estimating equations with Poisson distribution and exchangeable correlation structure were used to obtain adjusted relative risk ratios (aRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Result(s): Infertility-related diagnoses significantly increased the risks of pregnancy hypertension (PCOS: aRR, 1.13, 95% CI 1.00–1.27), preeclampsia/eclampsia (tubal: aRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.02–1.61; PCOS: aRR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06–1.43; other ovulatory: aRR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02–1.20), gestational diabetes (tubal: aRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.08–1.50; PCOS: aRR 1.58, 95% CI 1.42–1.75; other ovulatory: aRR 1.19, 95% CI 1.12–1.26), and placental problems (tubal aRR 1.47, 95% CI 1.11–1.94), as well as low birthweight and prematurity, compared with deliveries from the fertile group. Within each diagnosis, the use of ART consistently increased the risk of placental problems (aRR 1.49–2.86) but varied for other conditions. Conclusion(s): Our study demonstrated that compared with the fertile group, risk was elevated in pregnancies and deliveries from women with tubal, PCOS, other ovulatory, and endometriosis diagnoses who did/did not undergo ART treatment. Placental abnormalities were particularly elevated in ART compared to non-ART deliveries having the same diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1234
Number of pages12
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • ART
  • IVF
  • infertility diagnosis
  • obstetric risk
  • placental problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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