Periconceptional maternal social, lifestyle and medical risk factors impair embryonic growth: The Rotterdam Periconceptional Cohort

Sofie K.M. van Zundert, Lenie van Rossem, Sten P. Willemsen, Lindsey van der Meer, Hiske E. Ernst-Smelt, Régine P.M. Steegers-Theunissen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Research question: What is the association between the degree of a state of maternal vulnerability, determined by suboptimal periconceptional social, lifestyle and medical exposures and embryonic growth? Design: In total, 555 pregnancies, comprising 324 naturally conceived pregnancies and 231 pregnancies conceived after IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were included from the Rotterdam Periconceptional Cohort (Predict Study) between November 2010 and August 2018. Data on periconceptional social, lifestyle and medical exposures, i.e. vulnerability markers, were collected through self-administered questionnaires. To estimate embryonic growth, crown–rump length (CRL) and embryonic volume measurements were taken at 7, 9 and 11 weeks of gestation using three-dimensional ultrasound scans and virtual reality techniques. Results: Exposure to two or more vulnerability markers was negatively associated with embryonic growth in naturally conceived pregnancies. The CRL and embryonic volume trajectories of embryos of women exposed to two vulnerability markers were reduced compared with those of women exposed to zero or one vulnerability marker (√CRL: β = –0.29 mm, 95% CI –0.56 to –0.02; 3√EV: β = –0.14 cm3, 95% CI –0.27 to –0.01). These associations were not found in pregnancies conceived after IVF or ICSI. Conclusions: This study showed that a higher degree of the periconceptional state of maternal vulnerability is associated with reduced embryonic growth (CRL and embryonic volume) in naturally conceived pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1133
Number of pages11
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number6
Early online date5 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank all women of the Rotterdam Periconceptional cohort (Predict Study) for their participation. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the help provided by the researchers for recruiting participants, collecting data and carrying out three-dimensional ultrasound scans. We also appreciate Ann Vanrolleghem for data management and coordination. Funding was provided by Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


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