IVF 'increases blood clot risk'

A new study has found that women who undergo IVF have a higher risk of experiencing blood clots and pulmonary embolism while they are pregnant.

Live updates

Doctors 'should be aware of increased embolism risk' in IVF mothers

The report authors said:

Pregnant women are at higher risk of venous thromboembolism after in vitro fertilisation, particularly during the first trimester.

The risk of pulmonary embolism in women after in vitro fertilisation was increased almost sevenfold during the first trimester, although the absolute risk was low (two to three additional cases of pulmonary embolism per 10,000 pregnancies).

Pulmonary embolism is, however, an elusive condition that is difficult to diagnose and is a leading cause of maternal death. Our finding is therefore important to health professionals dealing with women who are recently pregnant after in vitro fertilisation.Doctors should be aware of these increased risks because the symptoms of pulmonary embolism can be insidious and the condition is potentially fatal.

IVF blood cot risk in numbers

The study, published on bmj.com, took data from 23,500 women who had IVF and 117,000 women with natural pregnancies and found that:

  • 4.2 out of every 1,000 women who had IVF suffered blood clots
  • compared with 2.5 of every 1,000 with natural pregnancies
  • pulmonary embolism occurred in 8.1 women out of every 10,000 who have IVF
  • compared with six out of 10,000 who get pregnant naturally


IVF increases risks of blood cots during pregnancy

Women who undergo IVF have a higher risk of experiencing blood clots while they are pregnant, a new study has found.

IVF increases risks of blood cots during pregnancy Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Swedish researchers found that a higher ratio of women who got pregnant following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) suffered from venous thromboembolism (blood clots) than those who became pregnant naturally.

The risk of pulmonary embolism - a potentially fatal blood clot which can prevent blood from reaching the lungs - in women who had the fertility treatment increased almost seve-nfold during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the research.

Back to top