Obstetric outcomes in pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization are not different in fertile, sterilized women compared to infertile women: A Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology database analysis

This study shows similar preterm birth and low birthweight rates in in vitro fertilization pregnancies in couples with infertility and couples with tubal ligation, suggesting that underlying infertility does not worsen pregnancy outcomes.

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VOLUME 115, ISSUE 3, P617-626, MARCH 01, 2021


\Valerie Libby, M.D., Elizabeth DeVilbiss, Ph.D., Monica Chung, M.D., Elizabeth Dilday, M.D., Samir N. Babayev, M.D., Rachel Weinerman, M.D., Kevin Doody, M.D. 



To compare obstetric and neonatal outcomes resulting from assisted reproductive technology in couples with a history of female sterilization to couples with other infertility diagnoses.


Retrospective cohort study.


Not applicable.


Fresh, nondonor cycles excluding gestational surrogacy from 2004 to 2013 in the United States.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Preterm birth rates and low birth weight rates from in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies in couples with infertility and in couples with prior tubal ligation as their sole indication for IVF.


The mean ages of fertile women (N = 8,478) and infertile women (N = 371,488) were 35.3 and 34.6 years, respectively. Of the singletons born to parous women (N = 26,463), the incidence of preterm birth was not significantly different in fertile, sterilized couples compared to infertile couples (13.7% vs. 12.0%). The incidence of low birth weight among term singletons was also not significantly different between fertile couples compared to infertile couples (3.5% vs. 3.2%).


Fertile couples have similar preterm birth and low birth weight rates after IVF compared to infertile couples. This suggests that differences in perinatal outcomes may be due to assisted reproductive technology procedures rather than infertility itself.

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.