Association of personal exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields with pregnancy outcomes among women seeking fertility treatment in a longitudinal cohort study

Fertil Steril. 2020 Nov;114(5):1058-1066. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.05.044. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Abstract

Objective: To assess for the first time the potential relationships of personal exposure to magnetic fields (MF) with pregnancy outcomes among a cohort of women from a fertility clinic, addressing, through study design, some of the primary limitations of previous studies on this topic.

Design: Longitudinal preconception prospective cohort.

Setting: Fertility center.

Patient(s): Our analysis included 119 women recruited from 2012 to 2018, who underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) (n = 163 cycles) and/or intrauterine insemination (IUI) (n = 123 cycles).

Intervention(s): Women wore personal exposure monitors continuously for up to three consecutive 24-hour time periods separated by several weeks.

Main outcome measure(s): Implantation, clinical pregnancy, live birth, and pregnancy loss.

Result(s): The median and maximum of the overall daily mean (daily peak) MF exposure levels were 1.10 mG (2.14 mG) and 15.54 mG (58.73 mG), respectively. MF exposure metrics were highest among women who changed environments four or more times per day. Overall, no statistically significant associations between MF exposure metrics and fertility treatment or pregnancy outcomes were observed in crude or adjusted models. Effect estimates, both positive and negative, varied by outcome and the exposure metric, including the way in which exposure was modeled.

Conclusion(s): Personal MF exposures were not associated with fertility treatment outcomes or pregnancy outcomes. Despite its limited size, strengths of the study include a longitudinal repeated-measures design, the collection of personal MF exposure data across multiple days, and carefully documented outcome and covariate information among a potentially susceptible study population.

Keywords: Electromagnetic field; infertility; in vitro fertilization; miscarriage; personal exposure.