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No Link Found Between IVF and Breast Cancer Risk


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It is commonly known that estrogen and progesterone, two kinds of sex hormones, can affect the course of certain types of breast cancer. Because in vitro fertilization treatment temporarily raises the levels of certain sex hormones, many women undergoing IVF treatments have worried about how this procedure would affect their chances of developing breast cancer.

IVF and Breast Cancer

While there has been several small studies over the last decade that have linked the IVF procedure to an increased risk of breast cancer, a recent Dutch study may ease the nerves of women who are interested in getting the procedure. This new study, which is the largest, most comprehensive study to date, found no increased risk among women who have undergone the procedure. It not only found that there is no increased risk among women receiving IVF, but it also found that women who have had other types of less intensive treatments to improve fertility do not have a greater risk of developing breast cancer either.

The study followed more than 25,000 Dutch women who started treatment from 1980 to 1995 for a median of 21 years. Many factors were taken into consideration during this study, including the age a woman first gave birth, overall number of births, and number of IVF treatments given to a woman. One of the most unexpected findings of this study was that women who underwent several or more cycles of IVF have a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer.

While this study is great news for women who are struggling to conceive and the reproductive medicine community, there are still further studies that need to be conducted. Because protocols for IVF are different than they were years ago, an additional study is being conducted to track the health of 10,000 Dutch women who have had the latest IVF treatments. The study also cannot say much about postmenopausal breast cancer risk, because only 14 percent of participants had reached age 60 when the study concluded.

About In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is when one or more eggs are fertilized outside of the body. Fertilization happens by manually combining an egg and sperm together, before transferring the embryo into a woman’s uterus. This form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) can be very successful, depending on your reproductive history, age, cause of infertility, and other lifestyle factors. IVF can help couples struggling with infertility if they are experiencing:

  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes

  • Decreased sperm count or mobility

  • Ovulation disorders

  • Premature ovarian failure

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Women who have had their fallopian tubes removed

  • Genetic disorders

  • Unexplained fertility

IVF Treatments in Long Island, NY

If you are looking for fertility specialists in Long Island, look no further than NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York. We pride ourselves on being leaders in the field, and our IVF success rates prove how effective our IVF treatment can be in helping couples that are struggling with infertility. Here at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York, we know that it is not always easy to decide to seek fertility care, which is why we promise to be there for you every step of the way. For more information about how we can help you, be sure to contact us today.