Many people who turn to IVF due to fertility problems believe the hard part is getting pregnant. However, new research has found a link between multiple rounds of IVF and higher rates of pregnancy problems, meaning getting pregnant may not be the most difficult part after all.
Research conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that women who undergo multiple IVF attempts are more likely to deal with placenta-related pregnancy complications. In some cases, this can be because the mother-to-be has an undiagnosed health problem, which may also be contributing to her infertility struggles. Other times, this could also be a result of the IVF attempts harming her uterus after so many repeated tries.
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The study looked at the placentas of 477 women who had delivered children after undergoing IVF. Some of the subjects only underwent one round of IVF, whereas others did multiple tries.
The women who received more treatments had a higher likelihood of developing problems with their placenta, including inflammation and developing abnormal umbilical blood vessels. Only 1 percent of women who did one round of IVF had an inflamed placenta, whereas 5 percent of those who did two treatments developed it. Even more, 9 percent of mothers who did IVF more than three times suffered inflammation.
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The study’s conclusion isn’t all the surprising, as past research has proven that pregnancies conceived via fertility treatments often carry a higher risk of health problems. In fact, often when the first round of IVF fails, women are recommended to use more invasive measures to increased changes of pregnancy. This can include taking higher doses of fertility drugs or having polyps removed from the wombs. This, in turn, can cause more damage to the uterus and increase the chances of future pregnancy complications.
The researchers said this information is important in order to inform individuals of the risks when undergoing multiple IVF rounds. In fact, this is one reason individuals choose to use donor eggs or sperm after a fourth failed attempt. Considering this new research, it may now be the healthier and safer route.