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Miscarriage post IVF linked to higher risk of psychological trauma

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Women who suffer miscarriages after assisted conception techniques such as IVF are more likely to suffer psychological trauma than those who conceive naturally, researchers said.

Researchers from Hong Kong examined the psychological impact of miscarriages that occurred in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, compared the stress, anxiety and depression levels between 75 women who conceived naturally and 75 who conceived after assisted reproduction using interviews and questionnaires.

After just one week, there was little difference between the two groups.

But when the women were assessed at four weeks and 12 weeks after miscarriage, those in the assisted reproduction group maintained significantly higher scores for stress and anxiety and depression levels than the natural conception group.

Co-author of the study Dr Cheung Sze Yan Charleen, of Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital, said: “Our results identified significantly higher stress, anxiety and depression levels in women who conceived after assisted reproduction, leading us to conclude that miscarriage resulted in greater psychological trauma to these women.

“Elevated emotional stress after miscarriage could therefore be associated with the duration of subfertility and the need of assisted reproduction.

“Timely support and intervention would be beneficial in the management of this group of women, as would further research into the potential long-term impact for adverse psychological outcomes after miscarriage.”

Experts think that as many as one in five pregnant women will suffer a miscarriage.

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