If you are currently trying to conceive, a new study is sharing some information that you will probably want to be paying attention to. According to a new study published by The BMJ, men who father children through using assisted reproduction methods are linked with the higher chances of getting prostate cancer. Overall, they are at higher risk for prostate cancer and early onset prostate cancer compared with men achieving fatherhood naturally.
Over the years, prostate cancer and many forms of infertility are male sex hormone related, creating a possible link between them. Up until this point, study weaknesses have prevented researchers from drawing any firm conclusions. Because of this, a team of researchers based in Sweden set out to compare the risk and severity of prostate cancer between men achieving fatherhood for the first time by assisted reproduction and men conceiving naturally.
Fathers participating in the study were grouped according to their fertility status (categorized by mode of conception): 20,618 (1.7%) by in vitro fertilisation (IVF), 14,882 (1.3%) by sperm injection (ICSI), and 1,145,990 (97%) by natural conception. The study findings are based on data from national registers for over one million children born alive in Sweden during 1994-2014 to the same number of fathers.
The finding show that the average age at the time of childbirth was 37 years for both IVF and ICSI treated fathers, and 32 years for fathers who conceived naturally. The cancer registries were then used to identify new cases of prostate cancer up to 20 years after childbirth.
The researchers found that men becoming fathers through IVF and ICSI had a significantly higher risk of prostate cancer than men who fathered children naturally. The did take into consideration factors such as age and education level that could have impacted the results.
Among men achieving fatherhood naturally, 3,244 (0.28%) were diagnosed as having prostate cancer, compared with 77 (0.37%) in the IVF group and 63 (0.42%) in the ICSI group. Overall, these findings suggest that these men may benefit from early screening and long term monitoring for prostate cancer.
The study concluded that "Men who achieved fatherhood through assisted reproduction techniques, particularly through ICSI, are at high risk for early onset prostate cancer and thus constitute a risk group in which testing and careful long term follow-up for prostate cancer may be beneficial."