Assisted reproduction or IVF may have associations with increasing the chances of cancer amongst women. As per a study conducted on more than 250,000 women in Britain, the rates of ovarian and breast cancer were higher in women who underwent IVF.
According to the studies conducted by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the rates of prostrate and ovarian cancer are more in patients undergoing IVF. However, in many cases the results were inconsistent. Based on another research conducted on 25,152 Dutch women, the consequences can be understood more clearly. They are as follows:
• Amongst a group of 19,146 women who underwent IVF, only 30 experienced invasive ovarian cancer. However, there were not enough statistics to prove that there was a direct relationship with the IVF procedure and cancer.
• Women undergoing IVF, who are over 55 years of age, had a 0.71% risk of cancer.
How can IVF cause cancer?
• During IVF, hyperstimulation in the female body can lead to mutations in epithelial cells, eventually leading to ovarian tumors. This increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
• IVF may alter cell growth patterns, which can trigger cancer.
As per the above information, the reports were inconclusive to suggest a direct relationship between IVF and cancer. However, cancer risks can be reduced through certain steps. They are:
• Informing the doctor about the history of cancer in your family, and getting tested for breast cancer is important.
• Approaching a successful fertility clinic will reduce the number of IVF cycles that will prevent over-exposure to hormones that might trigger cancer.
• Rather than IVF, other strategies can be applied, based on your cause of infertility.