A recent study has helped to reassure couples that IVF treatment does not increase the risk of developing endometrial, cervical or breast cancer.
This is good news for couples with infertility issues who may have been influenced by a smaller Dutch study that suggested participating in IVF treatment might increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
To obtain their conclusions, scientists studied more than 67,000 women who had IVF treatment between 1994 and 2011. They compared their results with 20,000 women who had given birth and not participated in IVF treatments.
Although the researchers did not find a link between IVF therapy and breast cancer, cervical cancer and endometrial cancer, they did find the risk of developing ovarian cancer increased slightly and rose with the number of IVF cycles.
Dr Bengt Kallen, who observed the study but was not involved, said: “Infertile women have a primary problem with their ovaries, and IVF has nothing to do with it. It's a rather difficult thing to disentangle if there is an effect from the hormones or from the IVF procedure."
Although study leader, Dr Louise Brinton described the results as “fairly reassuring”, she recommended continued close monitoring of women receiving IVF therapy.
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