British Fertility Society comment on new research into the risk of stillbirth following IVF/ICSI, as published in the journal Human Reproduction

Mrs Alison McTavish, Secretary of the British Fertility Society, said:

“This is an important study that indicates that risk of stillbirth in patients who have undergone IVF or ICSI treatment may be higher than in patients who conceived naturally or have undergone non IVF fertility treatment.

“It is important to emphasise that this study shows the risk of stillbirth after assisted fertility treatment is still extremely low and the majority of people who have a baby following IVF/ICSI treatment have a healthy baby.

“The paper states that we still do not know the causes of stillbirth and, in spite of having a good number of cases in the study, this question has not been answered.

“It is really important that people undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment become involved in follow up studies as we need further research to assess the reasons behind this apparent difference in stillbirth rate and to identify additional ways to minimise the risk of stillbirth to all patients, whether they are undergoing fertility treatment or not.”

Notes for editors:

The above statement was produced in response to a paper published in the journal Human Reproduction: K Wisborg et al., IVF and stillbirth: a prospective follow-up study. Published online February 23 2010. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deq023.