Infertility and Premature BirthResearchers are McGill University in Montreal, Canada recently published a study in Human Reproduction about a possible link between preterm birth and difficulty getting pregnant. The report was not a direct study; rather, it was created as data pulled from 14 outside studies already completed. The systemic review was completed to reinforce study results reporting a connection between pregnancy outcome and TTP (time to pregnancy).

All on-topic studies published from Jan. 1974 to Oct. 2011 were reviewed for the study. Data sources included Medline, Popline and Embase. Data needed to be pulled for women who took longer than 12 months to get pregnant and achieved pregnancy without assistance. Data collection was completed by two doctors who reviewed about 90 studies and pulled the final data from less than 20 studies meeting the qualifying criteria.

Slightly more than 1.2 million women were included in the data pool. About 20,000 women were placed in the infertile group (taking longer than 12 months to achieve pregnancy). The remaining women were used as the control.

Preterm births were reported in 68,885 cases accounting for 8.2% of the infertile group births and 5.4% of the control group births.

Conclusion: While the study pool was large and information pulled from high-quality studies, there are multiple possible reasons for prolonged TTP. Possible reasons for infertility needs to be addressed and causes used to filter results for a more accurate outlook on infertility and preterm birth.

Source: Messerlian C, Maclagan L, Basso O. Infertility and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum Reprod. 2012 Oct 5.