Assisted reproductive technologies for conception

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A major, published study is shedding new light on the safety of infertility options. (KFSN)

About 15 percent of all married couples in the United States have a tough time conceiving. Many turn to assisted reproductive technologies or ART, including in-vitro fertilization. A major, published study is shedding new light on the safety of infertility options.

Little Keaya Hensley's first name is Hawaiian for rejoice. A perfect fit for the Hensleys, who tried unsuccessfully for a year-and-a-half to start their family.

Aaron Hensley told ABC30, "It was the hope cycle. You'd get excited about it. You'd be hopeful, and then you'd be disappointed."

The Hensleys made the decision to try in-vitro fertilization.

Kristen Hensley said, "I wanted to exhaust every avenue we could to have a child, and for me, if that means risks then that means risk."

A woman undergoing IVF takes fertility medication, has eggs harvested from her ovaries and fertilized and has an embryo placed into her uterus.

Serious risks are very rare and include severe bleeding which could cause stroke and ovarian hyper -stimulation syndrome, or OHSS, an overreaction to fertility medication.

Jennifer Kawwass, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Emory Reproductive Center in Atlanta and her team studied data from just over 1,135,000 cycles performed in the U.S. in the past 12 years.

Dr. Kawwass said, "The reported risk is actually reassuringly low."

Dr. Kawwass found the risk of serious bleeding to be less than 1 percent and the risk of OHSS, 1.5 percent at its peak.

For the Hensleys it's great news as they look to add to their family circle. Kristen told ABC30, "It's the best miracle I've ever experienced."

The research completed by Dr. Kawwass and her team was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers say in recent years, in an effort to improve patient safety, ovarian stimulation has become less aggressive. The procedure for egg retrieval is less invasive than when IVF first began, and overall pregnancy rates have improved.

For more information on this report, please contact:

Janet Christenbury
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