October 21, 2005

Time to achieve pregnancy affects outcome

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The time needed to achieve
pregnancy appears to affect the outcome of that pregnancy,
Swedish researchers report. In particular, time to pregnancy
seems to affect the risks of miscarriage, pregnancies in which
the embryo implants outside of the womb, and multiple live

While the current findings support previous reports,
studies that have compared the time to pregnancy with
pregnancies ending in live births to the rate of pregnancies
outside of the womb and stillbirths have, "to the best of our
knowledge, never previously been performed," Dr. Anna Axmon and
Dr. Lars Hagmar, from University Hospital in Lund, note.

The findings, which appear in the journal Fertility and
Sterility, are based on a study of 5,302 pregnancies in three
Swedish groups of women. The women were surveyed to determine
the time to pregnancy.

Pregnancies ending in miscarriage, both early and late,
took longer to achieve than those ending in live births, the
authors report. Likewise, the risk of pregnancies outside the
womb was directly related to the time to pregnancy.

By contrast, multiple live births were associated with
shorter time to pregnancy. No relationship was seen between
time to pregnancy and stillbirth.

Among pregnancies ending in a single live birth, the time
to pregnancy was directly linked to the risk of preterm
delivery, the report indicates.

Further studies are needed to shed light on the mechanisms
involved in the association between time to pregnancy and
pregnancy outcomes, the researchers conclude.

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, October 2005.