Are there any major risks associated with IVF procedures?

April 9, 2018

Today, thousands of women opt for assisted reproductive technology to help them conceive and IVF is one of the most popular treatments. IVF is mostly a safe procedure with no major risks. However, in some extremely rare cases, the complications can also become severe. Hence, it becomes very important that you speak with your doctor about all the risks and the ways you can avoid them, before going in. At Apollo Fertility, we ensure that our patients experience a safe procedure and are able to deliver a healthy baby. We keep a close watch to avoid any mishaps. So, if you are worried about even something minute, it is mandatory that you speak with your fertility specialist.

Risks associated with IVF procedures

Side-Effects because of Medications

The medicines used for the ovarian stimulation can have slight side-effects in some women. It includes; mild bruising or soreness in the area where the drugs were injected, headaches, upset tummy, and fluctuations in mood. Another side-effect of this medication is ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS). When the ovaries produce multiple follicles, there are possibilities where the blood from the blood vessels can leak into the abdominal cavity and even the lungs. OHSS is not a severe concern, but in extremely rare cases it can result in enlarged ovaries, dehydration, and excess fluids in the abdominal cavity and the lungs.

Egg retrieval

The egg ripens somewhere in between 10-14 days once the cycle begins. This is when the woman undergoing the fertility treatment visits the clinic for egg retrieval.  The patient is given anaesthesia before the endocrinologist can begin the extraction. The patient might feel a slight pinch, almost as if undergoing a pap smear. However, in rare cases, the ovaries start bleeding excessively or the areas close to the ovaries can suffer from injuries, such as the bladder, bowel, or even the blood vessels. If the injury becomes very severe, then the patient will have to undergo a surgery or/and blood transfusion.

Embryo Transfer

During the embryo transfer, a metal tool known as the speculum is placed inside the vagina to make the embryo transfer possible. This is done using a catheter and few women experience cramping when the catheter is inserted through the cervix.

Multiple Pregnancy

Before the embryo is transferred, your fertility specialist will talk to you about your chances of having twins or more and also about the number of embryos you wish to transfer. If you wish to transfer only one, then your chances of having twins or more decreases, your baby will be a healthy one, and you will avoid a complicated pregnancy. However, it can also reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. And, age and other factors are also taken into consideration before the transfer of the embryo. If a woman undergoes multiple pregnancies, it can sometimes turn out to be complicated. It can lead to early labour and delivery, caesarean delivery, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. Therefore, clarify everything with your doctor and make a wise decision.

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