While women with infertility are increasingly seeking fertility therapy, little research has been done to examine its long-term health effects. A new study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), aims to shed light on this topic, examining years of health data on women who received fertility treatment in Ontario. It found women who received fertility treatment, but did not give birth, were 19 per cent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event, particularly heart failure, compared with those who gave birth within one year of fertility treatment. However, this increased relative risk was mostly seen within the first five years after therapy, and researchers emphasized the absolute risk was modest, amounting to 10 cardiovascular events for every 1,000 women for whom fertility treatment failed, compared with six events for every 1,000 women who gave birth after treatment. Dr. Jacob Udell, lead author of the study and a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, said the findings should not deter women from seeking fertility treatment.

“We don’t suggest women who are in need of these therapies don’t get them,” he said.

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