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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Says Shift Needed in Focus of Infertility Research

A team of experts that includes Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers Dr. Eugene Declercq and Dr. Howard Cabral is urging a shift in focus in infertility research from a primary emphasis on the effects of ART treatment to greater attention to the underlying infertility-related diagnoses that prompt ART interventions.

In a commentary in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics titled, “Is the Wrong Question Being Asked in Infertility Research?” the research team says its studies have found that underlying subfertility and infertility have a greater impact on health outcomes for mothers and children than do in vitro fertilization and other ART procedures.

“In the course of multiple analyses, [we] have changed our perspective from an original focus on ART treatment as the primary cause of excess morbidity to one centered instead on the underlying infertility-related diagnoses,” wrote the research group, dubbed MOSART (Massachusetts Outcome Study of Assisted Reproductive Technology).

The group urged a shift in the research agenda “from the effects of a single intervention — the in vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technologies — to the nature and consequences of infertility.”

“Over time,” the group wrote, “we have a developed a new hypothesis that, with the exception of higher rates of multiple pregnancies from ART and associated prematurity, underlying infertility-related diagnoses are the major effectors of excess morbidity for women and their children in this population.”

To read more about the study, go to: