IVF slightly increases risk of blood clots

baby belly

In vitro fertilization (IVF) has now been linked to an increased risk of pulmonary embolism or blockage of the lung’s main artery and blood clots during the first trimester of pregnancy.

About 10% of couple have problems with infertility. IVF has been a relatively successful way to counter infertility. Since 1978, IVF has led to the birth of over 5 million children around the world.

Are blood clots more frequent for women using IVF?

Blood clots are increasing with frequency during normal pregnancy. About one in 1000 women experience blood clots each year since the early 1990s. IVF have been known to have an even higher risk of blood clotting. However the risk of arterial blockage has not been known and this is a common cause of maternal death. Therefore, this research team set out to compare the risk of both pulmonary embolism (PE) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in over 23,000 women going through an IVF pregnancy and almost 117,000 women experiencing a normal pregnancy.

Yes, risk is increased occurring in 1.5% of IVF pregnancies

It was found that during the first trimester, the chance of developing blood clots increased, 1.5% in the IVF group compared to .3% in the natural pregnancy group. There was no difference in occurrence before pregnancy or in the year after giving birth between the two groups.

However, risk for pulmonary embolism not increased

PE occurred in 19 women in the IVF group and 70 women in the natural pregnancy group. The IVF group had an increased risk throughout the pregnancy but especially during the first trimester. Still, at .08% and .05% respectively, the risk is very low for both groups. Nevertheless, as a condition that could potentially lead to maternal death, the team noted that all doctors should be aware of the risks they discovered and they insist that doctor should make an effort to identify women who could potentially be vulnerable to clots.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, British Medical Journal


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