STUDY: Increased Risk of Childhood Cancer after IVF and OI

Last month, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that there is an increased risk of pediatric cancers in children whose parents underwent IVF (in vitro fertilization) and OI (ovulation induction) fertility treatments. This population based cohort study followed almost 250,000 children for a median of 10.5 years in Israel.

The following results emerged:

The rate (per 10,000) of malignancies was highest in the OI group; benign tumors were most prevalent in the IVF group, and rates of total neoplasm morbidities were similar in the IVF and OI groups and were significantly higher than in the spontaneously conceived group
— Wainstock et al. 2017

Rate of Malignancies in Spontaneous Pregnancy: 0.59/1000 person years

Rate of Malignancies in Ovulation Induction: 1.0/1000 person years

Rate of Malignancies in In Vitro Fertilization: 1.5/1000 person years

Additionally, the results showed that rates of Gestational diabetes and hypertension as well as pre-GDM and hypertension were higher among mothers in the treatment groups compared to spontaneous pregnancy.

Though more research needs to be done, this study showed significant increases in neoplasms in children conceived with IVF or ovulation induction in a very large study size. IVF and OI remain a very useful tool in becoming pregnant for some couples, but other avenues of fertility treatment, such as lifestyle, herbal, supplemental and dietary support, should be attempted whenever possible.

Journal Reference:

  1. Tamar Wainstock, Asnat Walfisch, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, Idit Segal, Avi Harlev, Ruslan Sergienko, Daniella Landau, Eyal Sheiner. Fertility treatments and pediatric neoplasms of the offspring: results of a population-based cohort with a median follow-up of 10 years. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2017; 216 (3): 314.e1 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.015

Dr. Jen Riegle is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) who practices in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Jen specializes in women's health, infertility, and oncofertility. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to make an appointment, you may schedule on our website or by calling (707)-243-8998.

*Please see your doctor or schedule with Dr. Riegle for personalized medical advice.

*Please see your doctor or schedule with Dr. Riegle for personalized medical advice.