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Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia

Print version ISSN 0100-7203On-line version ISSN 1806-9339


SILVA, João Luiz Pinto e  and  BAHAMONDES, Luis. Assisted reproduction as a cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. [online]. 2005, vol.27, n.12, pp.759-767. ISSN 1806-9339.

PURPOSE: to carry out a literature review to evaluate the impact of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) on maternal and perinatal morbidity. METHODS: specialized data bases such as SCI and MEDLINE were used to identify studies related to the terms: "in vitro fertilization", "assisted reproduction" and "reproductive techniques" in combination with "morbidity", "maternal mortality", "perinatal mortality", and "neonatal mortality". RESULTS: data from published studies allow us to conclude that maternal morbidity is related to an increase in the number of multiple pregnancies. In addition, some studies have reported an increased incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. Specialized multidisciplinary prenatal care has been recommended to obtain optimal results. An increase in the number of multiple pregnancies considerably increases maternal, fetal and neonatal complications. There is also evidence of an increase in congenital malformations. The particular characteristics of this group of women and the different techniques of assisted reproduction, particularly ICSI, in the etiology of congenital defects were discussed, but no clear differences have been established between the various procedures. Some recent metanalyses show that the number of fetal malformations in infants born as a result of ICSI is greater than in spontaneously conceived infants, but not more frequent than in those born as a result of other ART. There is no consensus regarding whether this fact is a result of the procedure itself, of manipulation of the gametes, ovulation induction, if it is due to the fact that these couples are infertile or a result of the time they take to become pregnant. Few studies have carried out a prolonged, consistent and systematic evaluation of the perinatal evolution of infants born following the use of frozen embryos. CONCLUSIONS: with respect to fetal malformations, there is definitely a higher incidence rate among infants born as a result of ART compared to those conceived naturally (RR: 1.4-2.0; 95% CI: 1.3-2.7). Insufficient time and data do not yet permit analysis of the outcome of pregnancies resulting from the use of frozen embryos. It is not clear whether these findings are due to the characteristics of the couples who are submitted to these procedures or to the peculiarities of each method. Many of the problems related to maternal and perinatal morbidity are due to the significant number of multiple pregnancies originating from ART. More studies are required in order to clarify these aspects of human reproduction.

Keywords : Reproductive techniques [assisted]; Fertilization in vitro; Morbidity; Newborn infants.

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