Adverse pregnancy, birth, and infant outcomes in twins: effects of maternal fertility status and infant gender combinations; the Massachusetts Outcomes Study of Assisted Reproductive Technology

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Abstract

Background

It is unknown whether the risk of adverse outcomes in twin pregnancies among subfertile women, conceived with and without in vitro fertilization, differs from those conceived spontaneously.

Objective

We sought to evaluate the effects of fertility status on adverse perinatal outcomes in twin pregnancies on a population basis.

Study Design

All twin live births of ≥22 weeks’ gestation and ≥350 g birthweight to Massachusetts resident women in 2004 through 2010 were linked to hospital discharge records, vital records, and in vitro fertilization cycles. Women were categorized by their fertility status as in vitro fertilization, subfertile, or fertile, and by twin pair genders (all, like, unlike). Women whose births linked to in vitro fertilization cycles were classified as in vitro fertilization; those with indicators of subfertility but without in vitro fertilization treatment were classified as subfertile; all others were classified as fertile. Risks of 6 adverse pregnancy outcomes (gestational diabetes, pregnancy hypertension, uterine bleeding, placental complications [placenta abruptio, placenta previa, and vasa previa], prenatal hospitalizations, and primary cesarean) and 9 adverse infant outcomes (very low birthweight, low birthweight, small-for-gestation birthweight, large-for-gestation birthweight, very preterm [<32 weeks], preterm, birth defects, neonatal death, and infant death) were modeled by fertility status with the fertile group as reference, using multivariate log binomial regression and reported as adjusted relative risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results

The study population included 10,352 women with twin pregnancies (6090 fertile, 724 subfertile, and 3538 in vitro fertilization). Among all twins, the risks for all 6 adverse pregnancy outcomes were significantly increased for the subfertile and in vitro fertilization groups, with highest risks for uterine bleeding (adjusted relative risk ratios, 1.92 and 2.58, respectively) and placental complications (adjusted relative risk ratios, 2.07 and 1.83, respectively). Among all twins, the risks for those born to subfertile women were significantly increased for very preterm birth and neonatal and infant death (adjusted relative risk ratios, 1.36, 1.89, and 1.87, respectively). Risks were significantly increased among in vitro fertilization twins for very preterm birth, preterm birth, and birth defects (adjusted relative risk ratios, 1.28, 1.07, and 1.26, respectively).

Conclusion

Risks of all maternal and most infant adverse outcomes were increased for subfertile and in vitro fertilization twins. Among all twins, the highest risks were for uterine bleeding and placental complications for the subfertile and in vitro fertilization groups, and neonatal and infant death in the subfertile group. These findings provide further evidence supporting single embryo transfer and more cautious use of ovulation induction.

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