Women's Health

Possible Connection Between IVF and Ovarian Cancer Explored

Ovarian stimulation does not actually increase ovarian cancer risk

The studied population group was cross-linked with the comprehensive national cancer and reproductive health registries in Denmark. It was found that an increased risk of ovarian cancer in the ART women was at its peak during the first two years following treatment. However, the increased risk gradually declined throughout the time of the study and at 12 years following treatment, the risk was similar to that of the general population group. “This pattern suggests an influence of detection bias while undergoing ART treatment,” explained the authors.

“We found that the higher risk of ovarian cancer among women having assisted reproduction treatment was only present among those with diagnosed female infertility. And in a general population we saw that ovarian stimulation does not seem to increase the risk of ovarian cancer,” said professor Anja Pinborg, gynecologist of the Fertility Department at Rigshospitalet Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. The professor labeled the results as reassuring, advising infertile women questioning whether or not to undergo ART treatment to go ahead and do so. “Ovarian stimulation itself is not introducing any excess risk of ovarian cancer,” she said. Additionally, she noted that while the risks tend to appear high among certain groups of women, the overall risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer remains small. There are always lessons to be learned and this time around, the lesson is about female biology.