ART and Spontaneous AbortionAt the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Nanfang Hospital in the People's Republic of China, researchers believed there was a possible link between assisted reproductive technology (ART) and spontaneous abortion caused by improper DNA methylation.

Researchers pulled CVS samples from abortions performed at Nanfang Hospital and muscle samples from aborted and stillborn fetuses at the same location. Four groups were created for the study - spontaneous abortion post ART, fetal reduction post ART, stillbirth post natural pregnancy and chosen abortion post natural pregnancy. Age at conception ranged from 18 to 45.

Conclusion: After reviewing all samples, researchers found a link between DNA methylation, but the number of spontaneous abortion associated with the link was no greater in women who used ART to conceive than women who conceived naturally. Loci used in the study does not fully represent a large portion of developmental genes, so other causes for spontaneous abortion could be relevant.

Source: Zheng HY, Tang Y, Niu J, Li P, Ye DS, Chen X, Shi XY, Li L, Chen SL. Aberrant DNA methylation of imprinted loci in human spontaneous abortions after assisted reproduction techniques and natural conception. Hum Reprod. 2012 Oct 4.