A recent study published online June 11 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry confirms the results of prior studies suggesting that infertility treatments have an impact on MS relapse rate. Hellwig K, et al (2009) found a statistically significant increase in relapse rate in 23 MS patients who underwent hormonal stimulation associated with assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes in vitro fertilization (IVF).
For the current study, researchers obtained data related to MS patients and IVF procedures from 13 French university hospital databases or referring neurologists. From 1998 to 2008, 32 women with MS underwent a total of 70 IVF treatments. In 48 cases gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists were used, GnRH antagonists used in 19 cases, and information is unknown for three treatment cycles.
Annualized relapse rate (ARR) was calculated for different times periods before and after IVF treatment. As shared by MedPageToday, 19 women in the study had a total of 26 relapses during the three months after the IVF treatment. Data analysis revealed that the ARR was significantly higher during the three-month period following IVF treatment (mean ARR 1.60) compared with the three months prior to IVF (mean ARR 0.80) and a three-month period one year before the procedure (mean ARR 0.68). This represents double the risk of relapse in the three months post-IVF as compared to the three months before IVF.
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Pregnancy, Infertility and Hormones: MS and Motherhood