Assisted reproductive technology: Short- and long-term outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes fertility treatment in which either eggs or embryos are handled outside a female's body to promote successful pregnancies and healthy offspring. Current ART procedures encompass in vitro fertilization with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The most common complication of ART is related to the consequences of multiple pregnancy, which can be prevented or minimized by reducing the number of embryos transferred to the uterus, commonly single embryo transfer. ART has been shown to be variably associated with adverse short- and long-term perinatal outcomes, including cerebral palsy, autism, neurodevelopmental imprinting disorders, and cancer. However, there is uncertainty as to whether reported problems are related to the ART procedure itself, to factors related to infertility, to other medical and environmental factors, or a combination thereof. From a pathophysiological perspective, whether ART alters epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression, leading to later developmental, medical, and behavioral disorders, is an area of active investigation. With the meticulously conducted short- and long-term outcome studies completed so far, overall, and after controlling for multiple gestations and preterm delivery, the results suggest that ART is a safe procedure, offering hope to many parent(s) wishing for a healthy child. This paper highlights ART methods and the risk factors and confounders in the interpretation of short- and long-term outcome data, providing the reader with a means to evaluate findings and conclusions of outcome studies. What this paper adds: Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a relatively safe procedure. Single embryo implantation optimizes outcome. Informed consent, including the risks and benefits of ART, should be required. Ongoing longitudinal studies are necessary to fully understand ART outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental medicine and child neurology
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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