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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter August 18, 2012

Perinatal risks after IVF and ICSI

  • Ursula Zollner EMAIL logo and Johannes Dietl


Pregnancies that occur after infertility treatment, particularly after assisted reproduction, constitute high-risk pregnancies. Occurrences of conditions such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, growth retardations and bleeding are higher in comparison with the norm of spontaneously entered pregnancies. The rate of premature births and the frequency of intrauterine deaths are much higher than the average for all pregnancies. Furthermore, pregnancies resulting from in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) have significantly higher rates of requiring induced labour or caesarean section. However, it is to be assumed that these complications and unfortunate developments are not caused by extracorporeal fertilisation itself, but rather are due to the frequency of multiples and to the risk factors of the women involved. These women are, on average, older and there are often more problems with cycle irregularities, uterine anomalies and obesity than in the total collective of all pregnancies. The methods of modern reproductive medicine often bring a higher rate of multiple pregnancies. The clinical problem of multiple pregnancies is, above all, the raised rate of premature births and intrauterine growth retardations that contribute to the significantly higher rate of morbidity and mortality for these children. The slightly higher rate of congenital defects after IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are also attributed more to the risk profile of the parents and less to the techniques themselves. The most important and easy-to-avoid complication is the multiple pregnancy, and it should be our goal to lower this rate even further.

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Ursula Zollner, MD Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Würzburg Josef-Schneider-Strasse 4 D-97080 Würzburg Germany Tel.: +49 931-20125621 Fax: +49 931-20125406

Received: 2012-5-7
Revised: 2012-6-20
Accepted: 2012-7-13
Published Online: 2012-08-18
Published in Print: 2013-01-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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