Assisted Reproductive Technology Associated With Low Complication Rate

(HealthDay News) — Assisted reproductive technology procedures performed in the United States from 2000 to 2011 are associated with low risk for complications, according to a research letter published in JAMA.

Jennifer Kawwass, MD, of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a review spanning the years 2000 to 2011. The review was based on a surveillance system established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The researchers said that reported complications had to be directly related to ART and take place within 12 weeks of the procedure. Possible problems included infection, bleeding, complications related to anesthesia, hospitalization and death.

The researchers found that the risk of complications was low for both autologous and donor-assisted procedures. Among 1,135,206 autologous ART cycles, the most commonly reported patient complications were ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and hospitalization. 

“Increased awareness of the most common complication, OHSS, may prompt additional study to characterize predictors of this and other adverse events to inform the development of effective approaches necessary to decrease complication occurrence,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers noted that rates of all other complications remained below 10 per 10,000 cycles. 

They said they identified 58 deaths associated with ART during the study period. Of these, 18 deaths were related to ovarian stimulation and 40 others occurred before delivery. Overall, the death rates for women who had an ART-conceived live birth ranged from 14.2 per 100,000 in 2004 to 1.6 per 100,000 in 2008.


  1. Kawwass JF et al. JAMA. 2015;313(1):88-90.