Review: Aspirin Doesn’t Increase Chances of Pregnancy With IVF

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Taking aspirin during fertility treatment does not increase women’s chances of conceiving, according to a new review of the research.

Some studies had suggested that aspirin might help women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), perhaps by improving blood supply to the uterus and ovaries. The use of aspirin is controversial, but many fertility clinics prescribe it during treatment.

The new analysis was published by the Cochrane Library, which routinely conducts independent reviews of existing research to help guide medical decision-making. It included 13 studies involving a total of 2,653 participants. Most studies used a dose of 100 mg of aspirin per day, beginning when women started receiving hormone treatments in preparation for IVF.

No significant differences in live birth rates or pregnancy rates were found between women who took aspirin during their fertility treatments and those who took placebo, according to the studies included in the review. In the studies that looked at miscarriage rates, again no differences were found between the aspirin and placebo groups.

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The new review is an update to a 2007 Cochrane analysis that came to the same conclusion; the addition of new trials in the current study did not change the findings. Another review published this month by Dutch researchers also failed to find any benefit of taking aspirin during IVF, but one review in 2008 did suggest some advantage. More trials are needed on the issue, the researchers said.

“Use of aspirin for women undergoing in vitro fertilization cannot be recommended due to lack of evidence from the current trial data,” the authors, led by Charalambos Siristatidis of the University of Athens in Greece, concluded. “Adequately powered trials are needed.”

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Maia Szalavitz is a health writer at TIME.com. Find her on Twitter @maiasz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME Healthland’s Facebook page and on Twitter @TIMEHealthland.

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