Semin Reprod Med 2017; 35(03): 205-216
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1603570
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Abnormal Placentation Associated with Infertility as a Marker of Overall Health

Lauren W. Sundheimer1, 2, Margareta D. Pisarska1, 2
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
  • 2Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 June 2017 (online)


Infertility and fertility treatments utilized are associated with abnormal placentation leading to adverse pregnancy outcomes related to placentation, including preterm birth, low birth weight, placenta accrete, and placenta previa. This may be due to the underlying genetics predisposing to infertility or the epigenetic changes associated with the fertility treatments utilized, as specific disease states leading to infertility are at increased risk of adverse outcomes, including placental abruption, fetal loss, gestational diabetes mellitus, and outcomes related to placentation, as well as the treatments utilized including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and non-IVF fertility treatment. Placentation defects, leading to adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, which are more pronounced in the infertile population, occur due to changes in trophoblast invasion, vascular defects, changes in the environmental milieu, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress. These similar processes are recognized as major contributors to lifelong risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease for both the mother and her offspring. Thus, abnormal placentation, found to be more prevalent in the infertile population, may be the key to better understand how infertility affects overall and long-term health.