IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

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IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby Mari2013 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 07:35 pm

I was reading some older posts where someone wrote that fertility treatments are a risk-factor for pre-e due to problems with implantation. I did a quick search and could not find a source for this. If anyone knows where this came from, I would really appreciate it if you could share.

We did IVF for our first daughter and I developed HELLP. I asked the MFM at my preconception appointment if there was any correlation with IVF and he said no. We did a frozen transfer for our second daughter, who we lost at 17 weeks, potentially due to placental issues.

I am just trying to make sense of everything and wonder if I were able to conceive naturally some of the risk for pre-e and HELLP would decrease.
Mom to one amazing toddler girl, delivered at 28 weeks due to severe HELLP.
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby eddy25 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 04:12 am

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby CptSpacely » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:20 am

I'm new here, but I'm interested in this subject since I also have to use IVF to conceive. I found links to the studies you're referring to towards the bottom of Caryn's post here:
https://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=26469

BTW - I'm very sorry for your loss.
DS: Born via C-section on 7/4/12 at 33w5d after sudden onset of severe PE. Now a happy, healthy toddler!
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby Mari2013 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 07:07 pm

CptSpacely wrote:I'm new here, but I'm interested in this subject since I also have to use IVF to conceive. I found links to the studies you're referring to towards the bottom of Caryn's post here:
https://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=26469

BTW - I'm very sorry for your loss.


Thank you for finding the link! Happy to see your son is doing well and good luck with TTC
Mom to one amazing toddler girl, delivered at 28 weeks due to severe HELLP.
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby sam10 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:16 am

One of the risks with any ART including IVF is the risks of mulitples, which then in turn also increases the risk of PE/HELLP (especially for those who had PE/HELLP in a previous pregnancy). More placenta means more risk.
For those who do IVF and are already at higher risk for PE due to a previous PE pregnancy it is usually recommended to do a single-egg-transfer.
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby caryn » Thu Jan 23, 2014 02:22 pm

A couple new studies I haven't discussed in the research write-ups:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24175873
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24029471
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375143

This is very poorly understood - researchers start saying things about Tregs that go right over my head when I ask about it, and I think it's partly because they're not sure yet, either, what might be going on, so they can't teach it to me yet - and so I would definitely ask your RE and your MFMs to talk about this to you.
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby CptSpacely » Thu Jan 23, 2014 04:31 pm

sam10 wrote:One of the risks with any ART including IVF is the risks of mulitples, which then in turn also increases the risk of PE/HELLP (especially for those who had PE/HELLP in a previous pregnancy). More placenta means more risk.
For those who do IVF and are already at higher risk for PE due to a previous PE pregnancy it is usually recommended to do a single-egg-transfer.


I believe that most of these studies try to adjust for number of embryos in order to account for the added risk of multiple gestation, but since I've never read any of the full-text articles, I'm not sure how they accomplish that. We did an eSET using fresh donor eggs + ICSI to conceive my son, and I still managed to develop severe PE with just the one embryo.

caryn wrote:A couple new studies I haven't discussed in the research write-ups:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24175873
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24029471
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375143

This is very poorly understood - researchers start saying things about Tregs that go right over my head when I ask about it, and I think it's partly because they're not sure yet, either, what might be going on, so they can't teach it to me yet - and so I would definitely as your RE and your MFMs to talk about this to you.


Thanks for these additional links! The second article you linked to is very interesting to me--I just wish I had a better understanding of it! As I mentioned above, we used an egg donor to conceive, and I've always felt instinctively that my complete lack of genetic ties to the embryo must have been a contributing factor in my PE. If I'm understanding that abstract, it sounds like my instinct is correct, and that donor egg IVF does result in the maternal immune system behaving differently than in a natural conception. What's odd is that even traditional IVF causes the maternal immune system to respond differently. I can only speculate that it has something to do with the way that the embryos are cultured in the laboratory.

I did speak to my RE about this just last week. We're currently planning on doing an FET this spring with one of the embryos we have left over. He said that the embryos have "the same genes" that my body has already dealt with in my last pregnancy, so it should "recognize" them, and the pregnancy should progress normally this time. :roll: I must confess that I'm skeptical. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the spiral artery remodeling that is discussed so often on these forums is sufficient to help the placenta implant more efficiently on my next go around.
DS: Born via C-section on 7/4/12 at 33w5d after sudden onset of severe PE. Now a happy, healthy toddler!
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby Mari2013 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 09:46 pm

I am going to check out the new links, thanks for sharing.

Both my pregnancies were with single babies and we did an elective single frozen embryo transfer for the second. So I am really interested in the link between the IVF itself, without multiples, and pre-e. Just by instinct, not knowing about any of these studies, I asked my MFM about a possible link between the IVF and HELLP. He was adament that there was no link. I am really interested to read that my instincts were probably correct.
Mom to one amazing toddler girl, delivered at 28 weeks due to severe HELLP.
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby caryn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 01:35 pm

What's odd is that even traditional IVF causes the maternal immune system to respond differently. I can only speculate that it has something to do with the way that the embryos are cultured in the laboratory.


It might, or it might have to do with some signaling we're just learning about, epigenetic chromosome inactivation that happens during the transit through the Fallopian tubes. There are so many differences in the early environment - and of course what's happening inside after conception and before implantation is very difficult to study! - and while those differences don't seem to cause problems most of the time, they might contribute to a higher rate of preeclampsia.

I think your intuitions about an immune response to a foreign egg are probably onto something. :) Ordinarily the maternal side of the placenta is mostly maternal genome, the fetal side is mostly paternal (because the maternal genes are silenced epigenetically) and then there's the fetus which is half maternal and half paternal. With egg donation you'd have the maternal side of the placenta be host-maternal genome, the fetal side be paternal, and the fetus would be half donor-maternal genome. So three parents. It just *has* to get immunologically messy...
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: IVF and Pre-e and HELLP

Postby caryn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 01:42 pm

So I am really interested in the link between the IVF itself, without multiples, and pre-e. Just by instinct, not knowing about any of these studies, I asked my MFM about a possible link between the IVF and HELLP. He was adament that there was no link. I am really interested to read that my instincts were probably correct.


I wonder if he's seen some new stuff at conferences that I've missed? I haven't been to one since last March. This is a fascinating area of research where there are a lot of people trying to figure out what's going on, and I certainly may have missed something. It has so many applications for infertility and miscarriage and preeclampsia and HELLP and those are responsible for so much mayhem that this is a huge focus of public health work...
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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