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Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Infertility | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This paper studied the rates of ectopic pregnancy after IVF in women with decreased ovarian reserve. The study concluded that women with a low ovarian reserve were more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy. 

Some background

Ectopic pregnancy refers to when the embryo attaches to somewhere other than the uterus. It occurs in 1 to 2% of all pregnancies. It is considered a serious health risk to pregnant women. Smoking, devices placed in the uterus, and pelvic inflammatory disease can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Compared to natural conception, risk of ectopic pregnancy is 2.5 to 5 times higher after in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Women with low ovarian reserve (smaller pool of eggs in the ovaries) have regular periods but often respond poorly to ovarian stimulation (procedure to stimulate ovaries to release eggs). The link between decreased ovarian reserve and ectopic pregnancies is still being investigated.

Methods & findings

2,061 women with low ovarian reserve aged 20 to 38 years old were analyzed. All women had undergone IVF. They were compared against 2,061 women of the same age with normal ovarian reserve. 

There was a total of 1,236 pregnancies among women with normal ovarian reserve. This was 1,017 among women with low ovarian reserve. Among women with normal ovarian reserve, 2.99% of pregnancies were ectopic. Among women with decreased ovarian reserve, 5.51% of pregnancies were ectopic. Overall, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy was 2.13 higher for women with a low ovarian reserve compared to women with normal ovarian reserve. This analysis accounted for factors such as age and weight of both parents, duration of infertility, type of infertility, number ovary cells retreived, number of transferred embryos, fertilization method, previous ectopic pregnancy, and previous miscarriage.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that a low ovarian reserve increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy after IVF. 

Published By :


Date :

Jan 16, 2017

Original Title :

Increased incidence of ectopic pregnancy after in vitro fertilization in women with decreased ovarian reserve.

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