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Cochrane review finds little evidence aspirin affects IVF

15 August 2011

By Victoria Kay

Appeared in BioNews 620

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that taking aspirin during IVF increases a woman's chances of conceiving, according to the latest Cochrane Systematic Review.

Researchers gathered data from 13 independent trials and compared the effect of aspirin versus placebo on live birth, pregnancy and miscarriage rates in women undergoing IVF. They did not find evidence that any of the three rates were altered among women taking aspirin.

The use of aspirin during IVF is a controversial practice, with both benefits and risks associated with it. It is thought that the drug may improve the chances of conceiving by increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. However, studies looking at the efficacy of aspirin on improving IVF outcome have produced mixed results, and there are concerns that its usage may increase the risk of miscarriage.

'Couples undergoing IVF often feel so desperate that they are prepared to try anything that may improve their chances of conceiving', said lead researcher Dr Charalambos Siristatidis of the University of Athens, Greece. 'But given the current evidence, there is still no basis to recommend that women take aspirin to help them become pregnant'.

The 13 eligible trials provided information on 2,653 women undertaking IVF, but researchers found that the majority of the trials did not publish live birth or miscarriage rates – the most useful measures of efficacy and safety respectively – and instead reported the less informative pregnancy rate. The Cochrane review therefore concluded that current trial data is insufficient, and that larger trials are needed.

'It was disappointing to see that so few of the studies reported live birth rate as this is ultimately the outcome all couples undergoing IVF are interested in', said Dr Siristatidis. 'The lack of information on miscarriage rate is also concerning given previous studies that have linked higher doses of aspirin to miscarriage'.

The review, an update of a 2007 publication, is available online in the Cochrane Library.

Aspirin for in vitro fertilisation
Cochrane Review | 15 June 2011
NewsDay via Doctors Lounge | 10 August 2011
Science Daily | 10 August 2011
Time | 10 August 2011


07 December 2015 - by Richard Kennedy 
The 'wonder drug' aspirin has proven benefits in cardiac disease and stroke, and it is increasingly thought to have a role in cancer prevention, but its wider use in support of infertility and assisted reproduction is controversial...
26 October 2015 - by Dr Jane Currie 
Low-dose aspirin may increase the chances of pregnancy in certain women, according to a US study...
31 October 2011 - by Suzanne Elvidge 
Taking a daily aspirin has been recommended for people with a high risk of an inherited form of bowel cancer. Results published in The Lancet suggested the risk for those with Lynch syndrome could be cut by 63 percent...

13 June 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
US researchers have found a link between an ovarian hormone called anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and IVF success. The findings suggest AMH testing could help clinicians tailor doses of ovary-stimulating drugs to improve women's egg production and likelihood of pregnancy...
15 November 2010 - by Seil Collins 
New preliminary research suggests a possible link between the use of mild painkillers during pregnancy and the birth of male children with congenital cryptorchidism, more commonly known as undescended testes, a condition which reduces male fertility. The rates of undescended testes seen in the study remained relatively low....
28 September 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher 
Scientists in the UK have found that a daily dose of aspirin may halve the chance of men with Lynch Syndrome developing colon cancer, one of the three most common cancers in developed countries. Lynch Syndrome is an inherited condition, which increases vulnerability to cancers of the colon, rectum, stomach, brain, liver, womb and elsewhere. Whilst the syndrome only accounts for five per cent of all colon cancer cases, the new findings are significant because men with the condition normally ha...
03 May 1999 - by BioNews 
Women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) could increase their chances of becoming pregnant if treated with low doses of aspirin, according to a study published in the May issue of Fertility and Sterility. Researchers at the CER Medical Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina, compared a group of women who took...

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