Women who conceive following in vitro fertilization (IVF) are significantly more likely to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at least one year after delivery, although the risk does not vary with singleton and twin births, according to a study in the United European Gastroenterology Journal.
In this research, a validated reflux questionnaire was administered to 156 women who had given birth once (singleton or twin birth) over one year prior and who conceived following IVF; the same questionnaire was also administered to 111 women who had conceived without IVF(control group). Major symptoms (eg, heartburn and regurgitation) were scored for frequency and severity and the questionnaire also included questions on whether these symptoms were experienced during and before their pregnancy.
Frequent heartburn and regurgitation were significantly more common among the IVF group compared to the control arm (10.3% and 8.3% vs. 1.8% and 3.6%, respectively). The prevalence of GERD was slightly higher among women with twin birth compared to those with singleton birth, but it was not statistically significant. There was no statistically difference between women with or without GERD and delivery type, newborn weight, and weight gain during pregnancy.
The authors concluded that women undergoing IVF may have potential risk factors that predispose them to GERD, such as medications used in IVF, time spent in a supine or dorsal recumbent position, and stress related to fertility.
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