An American study observed a link between fertility treatments and the risk of developing a stroke in the year following childbirth.
- American researchers have observed an association between infertility treatments and an increased risk of hospitalization for a stroke.
- According to the results, women who received fertility treatment had a 66% higher risk of being hospitalized in the year following pregnancy.
- However, health professionals have warned of the limits of these results.
A recent study published in the journal JAMAsuggested that women who received fertility treatment may be at higher risk of stroke as well as hospitalization following a stroke in the year after giving birth. than those who did not receive treatment.
Fertility treatment: women have a 66% risk of being hospitalized for a stroke
To reach this conclusion, scientists at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey (United States) recruited more than 31 million pregnant women aged 15 to 54 who gave birth between 2010 and 2018.
According to the results, patients who received fertility treatments were 66% more likely to be hospitalized for a stroke within twelve months of giving birth compared to those who gave birth after spontaneous conception. The researchers also observed that the risk of hospitalization for hemorrhagic stroke was significantly higher than that for ischemic stroke. “Strikingly, the increased risk was evident as early as the first 30 days postpartum, highlighting the need for early and continued monitoring in this population.”we can read in the study.
A study that has many limitations
However, hospitalizations for stroke after childbirth remain rare. The researchers estimated a rate of 37 hospitalizations per 100,000 among women who received fertility treatment and 29 hospitalizations per 100,000 for the control group.
These results should therefore not prevent couples from taking steps in a fertility clinic. Various experts have notably pointed out the limits of the study. “These data are difficult to extrapolate to individual patients, as no pre-pregnancy or inter-pregnancy comorbid conditions have been reported (…) It is possible that some of these patients already had high-risk conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or obesity before pregnancy, all risk factors for stroke. Additionally, it is also possible that the fertility cohort was a higher risk group at baseline, because maternal age advanced predisposed patients to developing some of these conditions during pregnancy”explained the Doctor Alex Robles of the Columbia University Fertility Center in New York.
As Dr. Sahar Wertheimer, a reproductive endocrinologist at HRC Fertility in Southern California, pointed out, the study makes no distinction between different types of fertility treatment. “I find this to be a compelling study because we view high estrogen levels (inherent in IVF) as a risk factor for stroke and we know that IVF leads to increased vascular risks during pregnancy. pregnancy (…) However, drawing the conclusion that infertility treatment causes strokes and not that infertile women may be predisposed to strokes for the same underlying causes as their infertility is a dangerous conclusion For example, I haven’t seen family history included in the basic demographics.”, she added. The conclusions of this work should therefore be taken with a grain of salt.