In vitro fertilisation (IVF) has come into media glare in recent years owing to its widespread use. According to Ovarian Cancer Action researchers, subfertile women who are exposed to IVF for producing additional eggs may be more susceptible to development of ovarian tumors in the future.
The risk factor in the long run seems to be almost two folds higher among women treated with IVF as compared to those who are not. This could be due to increased prevalence of borderline ovarian tumors. Also, the overall risk for morbid ovarian tumors did not appear to spike in the set of subfertile women who underwent IVF.
Professor Hani Gabra, Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, Imperial College London, remarked, “Reassuringly, and in keeping with lots of previous research in this area, this study shows that the risks of invasive ovarian cancer are small in populations of patients receiving ovarian stimulation for IVF. Although this study shows that ovarian stimulation may increase the risk of much less aggressive borderline ovarian tumors, it underlines the fact that ovarian stimulation for IVF is not a major risk factor for invasive ovarian cancer.”
Another important finding of the analysis is that use of oral contraceptives apparently tends to lower cancer risk by 15%. The risk dropped further as the duration of consuming the pill increased. After a span of 10 years, the risk seemingly reduced by 45%.
However, the team advised that women should consult their physicians before using the pill as it is linked to certain side effects. The initial study is published in the journal, Human Reproduction.