Ectopic Pregnancy and IVF
Women undergoing IVF are at greater risk of ectopic pregnancy (2-5%) compared to women who conceive naturally (2-3%). Suffering an ectopic pregnancy can be particularly devastating for these women as fertility is already impaired and an ectopic pregnancy can mean the loss of a fallopian tube.
Recent research suggests that the way to lower ectopic pregnancy rates in women who conceive via IVF, is to split an IVF cycle over two cycles, that is, on one cycle mature the follicles and retrieve the eggs, freeze the day 5 embryo and then do a frozen embryo transfer on the following cycle. Why do this? Because the study concluded that the least risk for ectopic pregnancy during IVF was in a day 5 frozen embryo transferred into a more hormonally balanced uterus than a uterus that is still under the influence of higher hormone levels caused by the drugs used to stimulate egg follicle production. The calculated risk for ectopic pregnancy in these patients was less than 1%.
Source: Cong Fang, Ph.D., Rui Huang, Ph.D., Li-Na Wei, Ph.D., Lei Jia, M.M. Frozen-thawed day 5 blastocyst transfer is associated with a lower risk of ectopic pregnancy than day 3 transfer and fresh transfer. Reproductive Medicine Research Center, Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. March 2015Volume 103, Issue 3, Pages 655–661.e3