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IVF Increases the risk of Pre-Eclampsia

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Six separate studies, including those from the United States and the National Institute of Health, have shown that there is an increased risk of pre-eclampsia in women who’ve conceived through IVF, as opposed to conceiving naturally.

The condition, which causes high blood pressure, fluid retention and protein in the urine, has been found to be increased by up to 41 per cent in women who’ve received IVF.  It didn’t matter whether the IVF included using donor eggs or standard IVF.

Although it’s not completely understood exactly why these findings have occurred, experts believe it could be that exposing the embryo to the treatment inhibits the blood supply to the placenta so it fails to develop correctly.  Around six women and hundreds of babies die annually due to pre-eclampsia and its complications.

Pre-eclampsia tends to occur from around the 20 week stage.  Mild cases can be managed but very often suffers have to be admitted to hospital for the condition to be monitored and treated.  If a woman goes on to develop eclampsia, which leads to seizures, this can prove fatal to both the mother and the unborn child.

Charles Kingsland of the British Fertility Society and a Liverpool Women’s Hospital gynaecologist has found the study findings very interesting.  He also said that pregnancies from IVF also bring with them their own set of problems in addition to natural pregnancies.

The findings of all the studies are due to be presented in Orlando, USA, at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

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