A recent study has revealed expectant mothers who have had difficulty getting pregnant and used IVF treatment are five times more likely to develop a blood clot than women who conceived naturally.
Blood clots are necessary to stop bleeding when an injury occurs, but they can be life threatening when they block main arteries such as those in the lung.
Leader of the study, Professor Peter Henriksson said: "During the IVF procedure hormonal drugs are given to stimulate the egg follicles to grow more eggs. This increases oestrogen levels in the body between ten and 100-fold and is likely to impact on the coagulation of the blood and increase blood clot formation.”
Although it is typical for the risk of serious blood clots to increase during pregnancy, it was previously not known how much higher the risk is for women expecting babies through fertility treatment.
The risk of developing a health threatening blood clot peaks in the first trimester of an IVF pregnancy and gradually reduces to the level of a natural pregnancy.
The risk of developing a pulmonary embolism is the same for those about to undergo an IVF pregnancy and 12 months after.
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