As a PhD student in reproductive epidemiology, I am studying if infertility or fertility treatments influence cancer risk.
- MSc in Environment and Health Protection, Stockholm University (2010)
- MSc in Biomedicine, Karolinska Institutet (2008)
Impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technology on cancer risk
It is estimated that 12 to 28% of couples trying to conceive are diagnosed with infertility. The total fertility rates (average number of children per woman) across Europe have also decreased in the last decades and are now below 2.1, the total fertility rate needed for generation replacement. In parallel, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is increasing in Sweden as well as elsewhere in Europe, with up to 5% of all infants being conceived with ART in the Nordic countries, who are topping the charts.
However, the pregnancy success rate for ART is on average 28% and the take home baby rate is barely 25%. This means that in order to eventually have a baby several ART attempts are often needed. We know very little to date of the effects of fertility treatments or infertility diagnoses per se on infertile couples’ health.
It is of importance to understand the association between assisted reproductive techniques with very potent hormonal stimulation, scarring of ovaries through punctures and surgical removal of sperms and risk of cancer. By utilizing large population-based registers, my PhD project aims to assess whether infertility diagnoses or fertility treatment influence cancer risk.