New research on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and blood clots resulting has come out of Sweden, and, while the danger is “slight,” the information could be useful to mothers at risk for the complication.
The IVF blood clot and pulmonary embolism risk was pinpointed in research out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden where scientists looked at the increase in likelihood of such events in pregnancies assisted by IVF. The medical procedure, which is considered safe, is a treatment for infertility in which an egg is fertilized and implanted after fertilization for women with difficulty conceiving unassisted.
The IVF study discovered that the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism (in which an artery to the lung becomes blocked by a clot) is higher during the first trimester of pregnancy for women who used IVF versus those who conceived naturally.
New research from the found women who became pregnant through IVF are at increased risk for pulmonary embolisms – a blockage of a major artery in the lung – and venous thromboembolism (blood clots) during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Peter Henriksson is a professor and chief physician at the Karolinska Institute, and he explains that researchers set out to determine whether IVF posed a blood clot risk to mothers, due to heightened levels of estrogen needed for the procedure to work — a circumstance known to increase blood clot risk.
Henriksson explained to Fox:
“I didn’t believe that because when you do IVF procedure, you have to stimulate the follicles of the ovaries to get the eggs to harvest … The estrogen levels increase, and high estrogen levels are linked with increased propensity of blood to coagulate.”