Pregnancy complications in spontaneous and assisted conceptions of women with infertility and subfertility factors. A comprehensive review

Reprod Biomed Online. 2016 Nov;33(5):612-628. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2016.08.007. Epub 2016 Aug 20.


In the literature, there is growing evidence that assisted reproductive techniques increase the risk of pregnancy complications in subfertile couples. Moreover, many concomitant preconception risk factors for subfertility are frequently present in the same subject and increase the risk of pregnancy complications. This review aimed to summarize in a systematic fashion the best current evidence regarding the effects of preconception maternal factors on maternal and neonatal outcomes. A literature search up to March 2016 was performed in IBSS, SocINDEX, Institute for Scientific Information, PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar. An evidence-based hierarchy was used to determine which articles to include and analyse. Available data show that the risk of pregnancy complications in spontaneous and assisted conceptions is likely multifactorial, and the magnitude of this risk is probably very different according specific subgroups of patients. Notwithstanding the only moderate level and quality of the available evidence, available data suggest that the presence and the treatment of specific preconception cofactors of subfertility should be always taken into account both in clinical practice and for scientific purposes.

Keywords: complications; infertility; obstetric; pregnancy; subfertility.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Maternal Age
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Diseases / complications