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Long term health effects from IVF

First of all - there may be some long term health benefits from having a successful full term pregnancy. So whenever we look at a medical treatment - whatever it may be - we should consider risks and benefits.

The risks of never having a term pregnancy - are perhaps a higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer. The benefits of a term pregnancy are exactly the opposite.

When it comes to IVF - the main focus has been on the potential long term risks of either breast or ovarian cancer.

Most of the long term studies have come from Israel where IVF is used so much more than in most other countries. To date - there is no good evidence that there is an increased risk of either breast or ovarian cancer after IVF.

However - we may not know the true answer for many years to come - remembering that IVF is a relatively new treatment only in widespread use since the mid 1980s.

Dr.Stephen Hudson
Victoria Fertility Centre

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