Is the fertility treatment itself a risk factor for early pregnancy loss?

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jun;26(3):174-80. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000064.


Purpose of review: With the recent advancements in reproductive medicine, many infertile couples now have the opportunity to conceive their own biological children. Although some medication protocols, such as clomiphene citrate, have been utilized for decades, other treatment modalities have evolved over the recent years. It therefore becomes imperative to assess the outcomes of these modalities and be critical regarding their safety. Pregnancy loss is one outcome that can affect many couples who conceive both spontaneously and with assistance via fertility treatment. In this review, several of the most commonly used fertility treatments will be discussed and the impact, if any, they may have in early pregnancy loss will be addressed.

Recent findings: Current data do not support that notion that infertility treatments or assisted reproductive techniques contribute to early pregnancy loss. However, more studies are needed to eliminate the confounding variables that make data interpretation difficult to generalize to the infertile population.

Summary: An early pregnancy loss can cause emotional distress and grief, particularly for couples already dealing with an infertility diagnosis. Therefore, knowledge regarding the relationship between infertility and early pregnancy loss is vital in order to properly counsel the couple prior to starting treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Aging*
  • Congenital Abnormalities*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female
  • Maternal Age*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted* / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Single Embryo Transfer / adverse effects
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic / adverse effects