As if the process of having a baby wasn’t already hard enough for those struggling with infertility, there’s a new concern for moms who are trying to conceive through IVF. A recent study shows that those use reproductive technology are much more likely to experience blood clots during pregnancy than those who get pregnant “the old-fashioned way.”
Researchers compared 23,498 women who had given birth with the help of IVF to 116,960 women of the same age and general health who had natural pregnancies. Their results were pretty astonishing. Women using IVF were four times more likely to get a blood clot in their veins. Even more, they were seven times more likely to experience pulmonary embolism, a possibly fatal occurrence where the blood clot reaches the lungs.
The authors of the study hypothesized that the hormone injections women take before undergoing IVF were the cause of the increased blood clot risk. They also suggested that women using reproductive technology who have a history of blood clots, either personally or in their family, be prescribed blood thinners as a precaution.
The research is an important step in making sure that mothers are prepared for the possible complications that can come from IVF. We’re still learning just how reproductive technology will change the process of pregnancy and how it can impact the children born through this modern method. Would-be parents need to be able to make an informed choice.
At the same time, while I know that this research is necessary and important, I can’t help gritting my teeth at it. I can’t help but think, “Really? There needs to be one more thing? One more hurdle?” I’m not angry at the researchers for finding it, but the whole thing feels a little unfair. As if moms shelling out more than $10,000 for a procedure with 40% or less success rate needed one more thing to be concerned about. It just highlights the unfairness of trying to have a baby.