FIGO good practice recommendations on reduction of preterm birth in pregnancies conceived by assisted reproductive technologies

Ben W. Mol, Bo Jacobsson, William Grobman, Kelle Moley, FIGO Working Group for Preterm Birth

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FIGO (the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) supports assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to achieve pregnancy and supports their availability in all nations. However, the increased frequency of preterm birth must be taken into account. Therefore, before in vitro fertilization (IVF) is started, other approaches, including expectant management, should be considered. Single embryo transfer is the best approach to ensure a live, healthy child. However, increased risks for preterm birth are also associated with a singleton IVF pregnancy and should be discussed and contrasted with spontaneous conception. Increased preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in singleton IVF cycles warrant investigations to elucidate and mitigate. Minimizing embryo manipulation during cell culture is recommended. Increased risk of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications in ART could reflect the underlying reasons for infertility. This information should be discussed and further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-15
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by grants from March of Dimes to the FIGO Working Group for Preterm Birth. This document is endorsed by FIGO Committee for Reproductive Medicine, Endocrinology and Infertility, and was discussed at their committee meeting on March 11, 2021.

Funding Information:
Ben W. Mol reports an investigator grant from NHMRC; consultancy for ObsEva; and research funding from Guerbet, Ferring, and Merck KGaA. Bo Jacobbson reports Research grants from Swedish Research Council, Norwegian Research Council, March of Dimes, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the US National Institute of Health; clinical diagnostic trials on NIPT with Ariosa (completed), Natera (ongoing), Vanadis (completed) and Hologic (ongoing) with expendidures reimbused per patient; clinical probiotic studies with product provided by FukoPharma (ongoing, no funding) and BioGaia (ongoing; also provided a research grant for the specific study); collaboration in IMPACT study where Roche, Perkin Elmer and Thermo Fisher provided reagents to PLGF analyses; coordination of scientific conferences and meetings with commercial partners as such as NNFM 2015, ESPBC 2016 and a Nordic educational meeting about NIPT and preeclampsia screening. Bo Jacobbson is also Chair of the FIGO Working Group for Preterm Birth and the European Association of Perinatal Medicine's special interest group of preterm delivery; steering group member of Genomic Medicine Sweden; chairs the Genomic Medicine Sweden complex diseases group; and is Swedish representative in the Nordic Society of Precision Medicine. William Grobman and Kelle Moley report no conflicts of interest.


  • assisted reproductive technology
  • child outcome
  • preterm delivery
  • single embryo transfer


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