Failed IVF Treatment May Put Women at Risk of Heart Disease

NDTV Food  |  Updated: March 16, 2017 15:08 IST

Failed IVF Treatment May Put Women at Risk of Heart Disease
  • Women who undergo fertility therapy may be at risk of heart disease
  • This applies to women who don't get pregnant with IVF
  • The drugs used for fertility treatments could affect blood pressure
There comes a phase when women think towards having a child. Unfortunately, not all are lucky enough to sail by the process smoothly. Different women may face different changes in terms of fertility or growth and development of the foetus. There has been a growing rise in cases of women facing fertility problems, inhibiting them from getting pregnant. Thus there are fertility therapies, popularly known as IVF, that cater to the needs of such women. However, a recent study conducted by Women's College Hospital in Ontario, Canada, states that women who undergo fertility therapy, but do not get pregnant, may be at a higher risk of developing long-term cardiovascular disease, compared to women who become pregnant.

According to researchers, the drugs used for the fertility treatments could be dangerously affecting the blood pressure levels as well as increase the risk of blood clots.

"We found that two-thirds of women never became pregnant after being managed for fertility treatment and these women also had worse long-term cardiovascular risk, specifically higher risks of stroke and heart failure, compared to the remaining third of women who did become pregnant and delivered a baby," said lead author Jacob Udell.

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The findings showed that fertility therapy failure was associated with a 19 per cent increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, in particular, heart failure. Only about ten in 1,000 suffered heart problems after failed fertility therapy, compared to six in 1,000 for those who had successful treatment, the researchers stressed.


"These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that fertility therapy may represent an early indication for future cardiovascular disease because it represents a unique cardiometabolic stress test," Udell said.

For the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the team looked at data on 28,442 women under age 50 who underwent fertility therapy in Ontario. However, the results should be interpreted with caution, the researchers suggested.


"We don't want to alarm women who undergo fertility therapy. We are instead suggesting that as women age, they should stay mindful of their health and remind their physician about any fertility therapy years earlier," explained Donald Redelmeier, scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences - a Canada-based health care research organisation.

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