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The Unexpected Key to IVF Success: Blood Pressure Matters!

Fertility treatment can be a complex journey, and new research is shedding light on unexpected factors that might influence the outcome. For single women and lesbian couples navigating this path, understanding all the variables at play is crucial. One surprising element? Your blood pressure.

High Stakes of High Blood Pressure

For decades, high blood pressure has been linked to life-shortening diseases like chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. But now, a groundbreaking study has revealed that blood pressure also impacts the success rates of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

The Study

Researchers from the largest IVF centre in China, the Reproductive and Genetic Hospital of CITIC-Xiangya, in collaboration with scientists from the University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM) in Germany, conducted a comprehensive study involving over 73,000 women. These women were undergoing their first reproductive treatment with IVF or ICSI, and the findings were revealing.

The Findings

The study “Inverse association of pre-pregnancy Systolic Blood Pressure and Live Birth Rate in normotensive women undergoing IVF/ICSI” found that a higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) at the beginning of pregnancy, even within the normal range according to current guidelines, reduced the likelihood of a successful birth. While the diastolic blood pressure (DBP) did not show the same correlation, higher SBP and DBP were linked to increased risks of early miscarriage, gestational diabetes mellitus, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Professor Dr. Berthold Hocher from UMM highlighted that these results are significant because they show that blood pressure, previously overlooked in reproductive medicine, plays a critical role in the success of fertility treatments.

What This Means for You

For those considering or currently undergoing fertility treatments, these findings underscore the importance of monitoring and managing blood pressure. Even if your blood pressure falls within what is considered a normal range, maintaining it at the lower end of this spectrum could enhance your chances of success.

Implications for Natural Conception

While this study focused on women undergoing IVF or ICSI, the implications could extend to natural conception as well. Professor Dr. Bernhard Krämer, Director of the V. Medical Clinic, notes that if these findings hold true for natural pregnancies, it might necessitate a reevaluation of blood pressure guidelines for women trying to conceive.


1. How does blood pressure affect IVF success?

  • Higher systolic blood pressure, even within the normal range, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of a successful birth following IVF treatment.

2. Does diastolic blood pressure impact IVF outcomes?

  • The study did not find a direct correlation between diastolic blood pressure and the success of IVF. However, both higher SBP and DBP were associated with higher risks of complications like miscarriage and gestational diabetes.

3. Should women undergoing fertility treatments monitor their blood pressure?

  • Yes, monitoring and managing blood pressure can be crucial. Even normal-range blood pressure can impact the success rates of fertility treatments.

4. Does this study’s findings apply to natural conception?

  • While the study focused on IVF and ICSI, researchers believe these findings might also apply to natural pregnancies, suggesting a potential need to rethink blood pressure guidelines for all women trying to conceive.

5. What can I do to manage my blood pressure during fertility treatment?

  • Regular monitoring, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management are key strategies. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Understanding the intricate details of how blood pressure affects fertility treatment outcomes empowers you to take proactive steps in your journey to parenthood. Keep an eye on those numbers and consult with your doctor to optimise your chances for a successful pregnancy.


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