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IVF Does Not Increase Cancer Risk [Study]

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and cancer

A study conducted by Dr. Louise Brinton, chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, reveals there is no significant increased cancer risk associated with receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF).

It has been suggested in vitro fertilization (IVF) may incite breast and gynecological cancers. The US study tries to put those concerns to rest. IVF is a fertility treatment. IVF is used by couples experiencing issues with infertility associated with conditions like endometriosis and low sperm.

IVF is not the first measure infertile couples or women seek. The procedure can be fairly expensive, often requires multiple attempts, and has a moderate success rate as the technology improves.

Women prepping for IVF undergo a series of hormone injections intended to stimulate multiple egg production. Utilizing a lab and fertility specialists, eggs are removed, analyzed, inseminated, and implanted for the remainder of germination. If the circumstances are ideal, a successful full term pregnancy can result.

Brinton and her colleagues reviewed the medical records of 67,608 women who underwent IVF treatments, and 19,795 women who sought treatment but never received IVF between 1994 and 2011. Little connection was found between fertility hormone treatments and cancer.

Although 1,509 subjects were later found when comparing all used records with the national cancer registry, it was determined there was no substantial difference in cancer risk between those who did and did not engage in IVF treatments.

Multiple sessions of the treatment may slightly increase the risk of ovarian cancer due to unforeseen underlying issues or statistical probability. Other studies have suggested perhaps dysfunctional ovaries increased reproductive cancer risks. Still the likelihood of developing cancer solely because of IVF is rare.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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