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Public Health


Cheryl Anderson


Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is an infertility treatment used to assist women to become pregnant. Although the procedure is safe, there are gaps in understanding the association between treatment and adverse pregnancy outcomes (e.g., stillbirth) in the United States. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between stillbirth delivery and ART. The 2 research questions addressed the association between methods of conception (ART versus non-ART) and the delivery of a stillbirth, and the association between multiple gestation pregnancy and risk of stillbirths. Retrospective cohort data from the States Monitoring ART collaborative were analyzed using Pearson's chi squared tests and log binominal regression models. Findings indicated that from 2006 to 2011, the average stillbirth rates were lower among ART-conceived pregnancies than non-ART conceived pregnancies. After controlling for confounding factors, ART-conceived pregnancies did not show increased risks of stillbirths compared to non-ART conceived pregnancies regardless of plurality. This lower risk of stillbirth was particularly significant during early pregnancies, before 28 weeks of gestation. Findings may be used to improve understanding of the use of ART treatment and its associated pregnancy outcomes. Findings may also be used to prevent stillbirths and to improve prenatal care, early stillbirth detection, and effective clinical management of fetal and maternal conditions during pregnancy.

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