Clinical trials testing infertility treatments often do not report on the major outcomes of interest to patients and clinicians and the public (such as live birth) nor on the harms, including maternal risks during pregnancy and fetal anomalies. This is complicated by the multiple participants in infertility trials which may include a woman (mother), a man (father), and result in a third individual if successful, their offspring (child), whois also the desired outcome oftreatment. The primary outcome of interestand many adverse events occur after cessationofinfertility treatment and during pregnancy and the puerperium, which create a unique burden of follow-up for clinical trial investigators and participants. In 2013, because of the inconsistenciesin trial reporting and the unique aspects of infertility trials not adequately addressed byexisting Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statements, we convened a consensus conference in Harbin, China, with the aim of planning modificationsto the CONSORT checklist to improve the quality of reporting of clinical trials testing infertility treatment. The consensus group recommended that the preferred primary outcome of all infertility trials is live birth (defined as any delivery of a live infant ≥20 weeks gestations) or cumulative live birth, defined as the live birth per women over a defined time period (or number of treatment cycles). In addition, harms to all participants should be systematically collected and reported, including during the intervention, any resulting pregnancy, and during the neonatal period. Routine information shouldbe collected and reportedonboth male and female participants in the trial.We propose totrack the change in quality that these guidelines may produce in published trials testing infertility treatments. Our ultimate goal is to increase the transparency of benefits and risks of infertility treatments to provide better medical care to affected individuals and couples.
- Infertility trial