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This chapter discusses the outcome of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in medically complicated patients. A confounding factor for IVF pregnancies is the increased number of multiple pregnancies and the relatively increased number of high-risk pregnancies among women with chronic medical problems. Cancer patients present particular challenges to the IVF unit. Standard IVF protocols are used for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) discordant couples. The main concerns about IVF and malignant disease relate to the issue of the potential delay in the starting of the patient's chemotherapy or of any possible effect of hormonal changes on the cancer. Obesity might affect the outcome of IVF and pregnancy, but with careful management, a good outcome can be achieved. It has been suggested that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may reduce the success of IVF-ET. The presence of antinuclear antibodies may reduce the implantation rate in IVF patients.
This chapter focuses on the association between acquired and inherited thrombophilia and implantation failure (IF). The pathogenesis of recurrent IF in patients with thrombophilic gene mutation may involve the effect of hypofibrinolysis on trophoblast migration. Trophoblastic migration and invasion during implantation involve extracellular matrix degradation, which is facilitated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). Recently, a variety of pathogenetic mechanisms have been suggested to explain the prothrombotic effect of antiphospholipid antibody (APA), the main cause of acquired thrombophilia. Recently, it has been suggested that APA may negatively impact the transformation of the endometrium into decidua, creating a hostile environment for blastocyst implantation. The chapter investigates the main therapeutic modalities such as heparin, aspirin (ASA), corticosteroids, and intravenous immunoglobulin alone or in combinations for treatment of IF. It is premature to recommend anticoagulation for patients with thrombophilia and IF.
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