Complications of the third stage of labor are more prevalent in IVF pregnancies

Avital Wertheimer*, Sharon Melamed, Eran Ashwal, Onit Sapir, Galia Oron, Avi Ben-Haroush, Tzippy Shochat, Arnon Wiznitzer, Yoel Shufaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pregnancies conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) are associated with a higher prevalence of perinatal complications than pregnancies conceived spontaneously, even after correction of confounding factors. Little is known about the prevalence of complications of the third stage of labor in IVF pregnancies. Objective: To compare the prevalence and types of complications of the third stage of labor following vaginal delivery of singleton infants born to matched groups of women who conceived through IVF or spontaneously. Study design: A retrospective case-control study design was used. The electronic delivery files of a tertiary medical center were reviewed for all women with a singleton IVF pregnancy who gave birth by vaginal delivery from August 2011 to March 2014. The women were matched 1:2 for age, gravidity, parity, and week of delivery to women with a singleton spontaneously conceived pregnancy who gave birth by vaginal delivery during the same period at the same hospital. The impact of mode of conception on the length and complications of the third stage of labor was evaluated. Results: The study group consisted of 242 women with IVF pregnancies (cases), and 484 matched controls with spontaneously conceived pregnancies (controls). The length of the third stage was similar in the cases and controls (14.23 ± 8.89 and 13.69 ± 9.19 min, respectively). IVF pregnancy was associated with a significantly higher rate of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) (5.79 versus 1.45%, p =.001), manual removal of retained placenta (11.98 versus 7.02%, p =.025), and blood transfusion (2.07 versus 0.41%, p =.032). On multivariate analysis, pregnancy conceived by IVF was an independent risk factor for an adverse outcome of the third stage of labor (OR 2.86, 95% CI 1.53–5.33). Conclusion: After correction for confounders, IVF conception proved to be a significant independent risk factor for PPH, manual removal of the placenta, and blood transfusion in the third stage of labor. Therefore, the management of women who give birth vaginally following IVF pregnancy should be designed to anticipate complications in the third stage even in the absence of other risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • IVF
  • manual removal of placenta
  • postpartum hemorrhage
  • retained placenta
  • third stage of labor


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