Little Evidence Assisted Reproduction Affects Offspring's Pregnancy Outcomes

No obstetric or perinatal complications seen for people conceived with assisted reproductive technologies who become parents

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THURSDAY, March 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- People conceived with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) do not have an increased risk for obstetric or perinatal complications when they become parents, according to a study published online March 20 in BMJ Medicine.

Ellen Øen Carlsen, M.D., from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues conducted a prospective registry-based study involving 1,092,151 people born in Norway between 1984 and 2002, of whom 180,652 were registered at least once as mothers and 137,530 as fathers by the end of 2021. Of these, 399 men and 553 women were conceived using ART.

The researchers observed little evidence of an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, increased use of ART, or differences in mean birth weight, placental weight, or gestational age for people who were conceived with ART. Among women who were conceived by ART, there was an increased risk seen for the neonate having a low Apgar score at 5 minutes (adjusted odds ratio, 1.86; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.20 to 2.89). Among mothers conceived by ART, the odds of having a boy were slightly lower (odds ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 0.93). Women and men who were conceived by ART were slightly less likely to have a registered pregnancy within the follow-up period (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.88 [0.81 to 0.96] and 0.91 [0.83 to 1.01], respectively).

"These early results are reassuring for the increasing number of adolescents and young adults who were conceived by ART and are entering their reproductive years," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Updated on March 30, 2023

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