Women Who Undergo IVF Are More Likely To Have A C-Section, Heart Issues, And Kidney Failure, Per New Study

Modern medicine has offered women some truly incredible procedures and technology that allows women to get pregnant. However, a new study shows that IVF may cause serious health issues in women.

By Gina Florio2 min read
ivf health risk

In vitro fertilization (IVF) has become more and more popular over the last decade. The CDC reports that about 4 million births each year in the U.S. are done through IVF. While the process has been successful for many women who otherwise may not have ever had children, new research is showing that it comes with health risks.

Women Who Undergo IVF Are More Likely To Have a C-Section, Heart Issues, and Kidney Failure

Dr. Susan Caldwell is a fertility specialist who has undergone IVF herself, and she recently shared some statistics from a new study that showed how dangerous IVF may be for both the mother and the baby. A new study from the American Heart Association reviewed nationwide healthcare databases to look at the health of mothers and babies in hospitals between 2008 and 2016. In total, 34 million hospital deliveries were analyzed; out of this number, 0.31% of the pregnancies were achieved through IVF and 99.69% were natural.

There are pretty shocking statistics that have never really been talked about by doctors when it comes to fertility treatments. Women who underwent IVF are 38% more likely to have a C-section and 57% more likely to experience placenta abruption, which is when the placenta tears away from the uterus before the baby is born. This can deprive the baby of much-needed oxygen and various nutrients, resulting in health issues or even death. It can also result in heavy bleeding in the mother.

Women who go through IVF are 26% more likely to have a preterm birth, and the earlier your baby is born, the more likely they are to endure health risks and complications and maybe even need a longer stay in the hospital. Additionally, women are 152% more likely to have sudden kidney failure and 65% more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm.

To compare this to natural births, women who conceive naturally have a 10% chance at preterm birth, 1% chance of placental abruption, and less than 1% chance at sudden kidney failure.

The study also said that these IVF risks aren't just for women who have multiple babies. Women who carry just one child through IVF are still at risk for all of the above.

Dr. Caldwell isn't advocating for women to never do IVF, but she's highlighting the fact that these risks are very rarely discussed by doctors with their patients, and women deserve to have the full scope of what they're getting themselves into when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and the health of themselves and their baby.