Does IVF increase the risk of ovarian cancer?

A recent study in the Netherlands suggests a very small increase in risk of developing borderline ovarian cancer later in life in women who have ovarian stimulation for IVF, compared to sub fertile women who did not have ovarian stimulation.

However, it is worth noting that the if the risk is truly increased it is still very small. The cumulative life time risk for borderline ovarian cancer up to the age of 55 was just under five in 1000 in the general population compared with seven in 1000 for women undergoing IVF.

The researchers admit that further research is needed to confirm this, and indeed the HFEA in the UK has recently approved studies to investigate the effect of IVF on reproductive cancers, including ovarian cancer.

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