A new study suggests that women who have treatment for infertility are at a slightly higher risk of severe complications like bleeding, serious infection and admission to intensive care around the time of delivery.
Severe complications for mothers in Canada occur in about 10 to 15 cases for every 1,000 births. Maternal death occurs in 10 or fewer per 100,000 births. So, they are rare. But researchers are intent on reducing the number so they did a study comparing outcomes for women who had fertility treatment to those who did not.
Risk remains ‘quite small,’ says doctor
“We did find that those who received the infertility treatment, especially in vitro fertilization, were 40 per cent more likely to experience one of these complications,” says Natalie Dayan, a clinician-scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and a doctor at the hospital.
“However… the absolute number of women who developed these complications remained quite small, meaning that for most women who cannot conceive naturally, this treatment is still very safe.”
The results of this study suggests that women should be counselled about the risks to help them decide which infertility treatment may be best for them and some may need to be followed more closely during pregnancy.
This study was done in collaboration with researchers at ICES and St. Michael’s Hospital and was published in the CMAJ journal.
Dr. Natalie Dayan says women who undergo fertility treatment are a little more likely to have a serious complication at the time they give birth.Listen