Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 297, Issue 1, pp 33–47 | Cite as

Obstetric and perinatal outcomes in subfertile patients who conceived following low technology interventions for fertility enhancement: a comprehensive review

  • Stefano Palomba
  • Susanna Santagni
  • Jessica Daolio
  • Karen Gibbins
  • Francesco Antonino Battaglia
  • Giovanni Battista La Sala
  • Robert M. Silver



Low technology interventions for fertility enhancement (LTIFE) are strategies that avoid retrieval, handling, and manipulation of female gametes. The definition of LTIFE is yet to be widely accepted and clarified, but they are commonly used in milder cases of infertility and subfertility. Based on these considerations, the aim of the present study was comprehensively to review and investigate the obstetric and perinatal outcomes in subfertile patients who underwent LTIFE.


A literature search up to May 2017 was performed in IBSS, SocINDEX, Institute for Scientific Information, PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. An evidence-based hierarchy was used according to The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine to determine which articles to include and analyze, and to provide a level of evidence of each association between intervention and outcome.


This analysis identified preliminary and low-grade evidence on the influence of LTIFE on obstetric and perinatal outcomes in subfertile women.


LTIFE women should deserve major consideration from Clinicians/Researchers of Reproductive Medicine, because these treatments could be potentially responsible for mothers’ and babies’ complications. So far, the lack of well-designed and unbiased studies makes further conclusions difficult to be drawn.


Infertility Low technology Complication Obstetric Pregnancy Neonatal 


Author’s contribution

SP conceived the study, interpreted data, drafted the manuscript, and approved its final version; SS and JD performed the literature search, selected the articles, drafted the manuscript, and approved its final version; KG interpreted data, revised the manuscript for intellectual content, and approved its final version; FAB and GBLS interpreted data, revised the manuscript for intellectual content, and approved its final version; RMS conceived the study, revised the manuscript for intellectual content and approved its final version.

Compliance with ethical standards


Departmental funds form Center of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery—ASMN-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia (Italy) and from “Antonio Vallisneri” Study Center of Reggio Emilia (Italy) supported the authors throughout the study period and review preparation.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no financial/commercial and non-financial conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of Obstetrics and GynecologyGrande Ospedale Metropolitano “Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli”Reggio CalabriaItaly
  2. 2.Center of Reproductive Medicine and SurgeryArcispedale Santa Maria Nuova (ASMN), Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS)Reggio EmiliaItaly
  3. 3.Division of Maternal-Fetal MedicineUtah UniversitySalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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