HealthDay News — Fertility treatment is associated with an increased risk for preterm birth, according to a study published online February 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Ran Wang, MD, from the National Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai, and colleagues examined the association between fertility treatment and preterm birth (<37 weeks) using data from the US National Vital Statistics System (2016 through 2019). The analysis included 14,370,920 mothers with singleton live births.

The researchers found that the prevalence of preterm birth was 7.6% in natural conception, 10.7% in assisted reproductive technology (ART), and 9.3% in non-ART groups. There was a significantly higher risk observed for preterm birth among newborns who were conceived with ART (adjusted risk difference, 3.10%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.49) and non-ART treatment (adjusted risk difference, 2.22%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.35) compared with neonates who were naturally conceived.

“The potential mechanisms of the association between ART or non-ART treatment and preterm birth need to be elucidated,” the authors write. “Understanding this risk is essential for individuals who are considering using fertility treatment to conceive and for physicians who provide prepregnancy and postpregnancy advice and care to these individuals.”

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