April 12, 2024


 Another IVF health hazard unknown to patients but widely discussed amongst fertility experts has been dragged from the shadows. According to British specialists, the powerful drugs used to stimulate egg production can actually make women less fertile and keep them from getting pregnant.

The doyen of British IVF, Lord Robert Winston, told the Sunday Telegraph: "The trend is to get as many eggs as possible, but that may be counterproductive. From the research we’ve done, the main risk is that doing this produces chromosomal damage in at least half, if not 70 per cent, of eggs. New studies are needed to prove the drugs are causing the damage, but it is my strong suspicion that this is the case."

The first meeting of the will call upon the IVF industry to rethink its dependence upon high doses of drugs. This is a high-profile gathering, with the CEO of the UK’s fertility regulator attending, along with a number of well-known figures from the IVF industry.

Although experts mentioned this danger as if it were common knowledge, it is largely unknown outside of professional meetings and medical journals. A page on the British Fertility Society website, for example, is devoted to the "risks and complications of assisted conception". It is a long and growing list, but chromosomal damage to eggs is not one of the items.