Assisted reproduction

Gamete donation increases the risk of pre-eclampsia. In a study from Leeds, the rate of pre-eclampsia was increased (18.1%) in women with pregnancies conceived as the result of donated sperm, donated oocytes or donated embryos compared to controls (1.4%) with pregnancies conceived with their own gametes either spontaneously or using intrauterine insemination with their partner's sperm (Salha et al., 1999). Furthermore, if surgically obtained sperm is used for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) the risk of pre-eclampsia in an ensuing pregnancy is increased (11%) compared to pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization or ICSI using ejaculated sperm (4%), suggesting a protective effect of semen exposure (Wang et al., 2002). Readers interested in a more in-depth discussion of this subject are referred to the chapter on immune maladaptation in pre-eclampsia by Dekker and Robillard in this book.

Because of the effect of certain medical conditions (for example, renal disease) or their treatments (for example, cyclophosphamide for systemic lupus erythematosus) on fertility, these issues related to assisted reproduction are extremely pertinent. Regrettably, however, the desire of women to have children tempers the assimilation of possible risks associated with assisted reproduction. It is the responsibility of the providers of assisted conception techniques to ensure that women and their partners understand these associated risks before embarking on fertility treatment.

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Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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