PG21: Optimizing the Safety of In Vitro Fertilization

Date:October 13, 2013

Time:8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Location:Room 204 - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Valerie L. Baker, M.D. (Chair), Stanford University Medical Center

Anja Pinborg, M.D., University of Copenhagen

Catherine Racowsky, Ph.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School


Developed in Cooperation with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Patient Care

Although assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a widely-used treatment that often leads to the birth of healthy children without serious maternal complications, concerns have been raised about increased risk of certain adverse outcomes for both the mother and the offspring. ART has been associated with higher rates of compromised fetal growth, preterm delivery, maternal complications such as preeclampsia, and possibly congenital anomalies and epigenetic disorders. Some risks of adverse outcomes associated with ART are likely attributable to the underlying infertility. However, it is important for clinicians to be aware of ART risks that may be associated with the treatment itself. Some adverse outcomes associated with ART may be attributable to multiple gestation, laboratory practices, or the unphysiologic maternal state in which pregnancy typically begins with ART. 

This live course will equip clinicians to better inform patients about the risks and benefits of various aspects of ART. Faculty will provide recommendations on how to mitigate the risks, including optimization of ovulation induction, and maximize the safety of ART. Other topics covered include an up-to-date understanding of the benefits and risks of various laboratory procedures and ART treatment for patients with medical problems.

After participating in this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Choose individualized ovulation stimulation protocols with consideration given to both potential short-term and long-term consequences for the mother and fetus.
  2. Explain the risks and benefits of laboratory practices such as extended culture, embryo biopsy at different stages, oocyte cryopreservation and open versus closed vitrification.
  3. Provide recommendations that will reduce the risk of multiple gestation while still maintaining a high live-birth rate.
  4. Advise patients at increased risk of pregnancy complications.


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