Committee Opinion No 671 Summary: Perinatal Risks Associated With Assisted Reproductive Technology

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Abstract

Over the past decades, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased dramatically worldwide and has made pregnancy possible for many infertile couples. Although the perinatal risks that may be associated with ART and ovulation induction are much higher in multifetal gestations, even singletons achieved with ART and ovulation induction may be at higher risk than singletons from naturally occurring pregnancies. However, it remains unclear to what extent these associations might be related to the underlying cause(s) of infertility. Before initiating ART or ovulation induction procedures, obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care providers should complete a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that patients are in good health and should counsel these women about the risks associated with treatment. Any maternal health problems or inherited conditions should be addressed. Couples at risk of passing genetic conditions on to their offspring, including those due to infertility-associated conditions, should be counseled appropriately. When a higher-order (triplet or more) multifetal pregnancy is encountered, the option of multifetal reduction should be discussed. In the case of a continuing higher-order multifetal pregnancy, ongoing obstetric care should be with an obstetrician–gynecologist or other obstetric care provider and at a facility capable of managing anticipated risks and outcomes.

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