The efficacy of assisted reproduction in women with a wide spectrum of chronic diseases – a review

Bente Mertz Nørgård*, Laura Catalini, Line Riis Jølving, Michael Due Larsen, Sonia Friedman, Jens Fedder

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments in women with underlying chronic diseases have become increasingly frequent. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the literature examining the chance of having a live born child after ART in women with chronic diseases, compared to other women receiving ART. We focused on some of the most prevalent chronic diseases in women during their reproductive years, ie ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus. Secondly, we studied the chance of successful implantation. The literature search was performed in the database Pubmed.gov. including all studies published before October 2020. Title and abstracts of 58 papers were reviewed, 37 papers were excluded and other 8 studies were excluded after full-text evaluation. Only 13 papers were eligible for review. Results indicate that women with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes mellitus type 2 might have problems with low implantation rate or early embryo development during ART. On the contrary, the few studies on women with hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus type 1, and epilepsy suggest an equivalent chance of a live birth compared to other women undergoing ART. A possible explanation behind these differences could reside in the disease-specific dysregulation of the innate or adaptive immune system. To our knowledge, this is the first review on ART in women with chronic diseases, and it has disclosed that the evidence in this area is indeed sparse. We encourage others to examine live birth after ART in women with chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Epidemiology
Volume13
Pages (from-to)477-500
ISSN1179-1349
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid disease

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