Pregnancy outcomes in very advanced maternal age pregnancies The impact of assisted reproductive technology

Very advanced maternal aged women using ART are more likely to be primiparous or undergo elective cesarean delivery, and are at increased risk of retained placenta. Oocyte source does not affect outcomes.

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Sherri Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., Connie Hong, M.D., Erica T. Wang, M.D., M.A.S., Carolyn Alexander, M.D., Kimberly D. Gregory, M.D., M.P.H., Margareta D. Pisarska, M.D.

Volume 103, Issue 1, Pages 76-80



To determine whether there are differences in adverse pregnancy outcomes in very advanced maternal age (vAMA) women who conceived with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) compared with spontaneous conceptions.


Retrospective cohort study.


Academic tertiary care medical center.


A total of 472 women aged ≥45 years who delivered at one institution.


Mode of conception.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Maternal and neonatal outcomes.


For singleton pregnancies, vAMA women who conceived with ART were significantly older (47.0 ± 2.3 vs. 45.6 ± 0.1 years), more likely to be white (88.1% vs. 75.6%), and less parous (0.4 ± 0.9 vs. 1.2 ± 1.8) than vAMA women who conceived spontaneously. They were at significantly increased risk for cesarean delivery (CD) (75.1% vs. 49.7%) and were more likely to undergo elective primary CD without labor (25.4% vs. 9.4%). Risk of retained placenta was also significantly higher (2.7% vs. 0%). Rates of other maternal complications and neonatal outcomes were similar. Subgroup analysis of ART singleton pregnancies did not demonstrate differences in women using autologous oocytes versus donor oocytes.


Very advanced maternal age women who conceive after ART are more likely to be white, older, primiparous, and are more likely to proceed with an elective CD compared with vAMA women who conceive spontaneously. The increased risk of retained placenta in women who conceive with ART may indicate an underlying risk for placentation defects.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.