In vitro fertilisation or IVF is a highly advanced procedure for infertility. Couples who cannot conceive naturally after long term of trying; opt for these treatments to conceive in medically assisted ways. The treatment begins with diagnosis of the infertility in either of the partner . Once the diagnosis is made, the medical professionals along with patient’s consent begins the treatment, which could be highly successful to achieve a pregnancy. These procedures take place in the guidance of IVF specialist in a certified clinic.
It is an assisted reproductive technology. This IVF technology can be a boon for some and might not be successful for others. Certain factors and medical conditions contribute to the success and failure rates of the procedure. There are various risks and side effects of IVF treatment as it is not a natural way of conception. Some risks are long term, wherein other resides during the time of treatment.
As more than one embryo is implanted in the uterus, IVF increases your chances of multiple births. This can also lead to preterm birth and underweight babies. Not more than three embryos are planted in order to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancies.
Reaction to Medications
Many women can develop reactions to the medicines used during the IVF treatment. Many women experience hot flushes, nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings etc in response to hormonal injections used for stimulating ovaries.
Need of C-Section
IVF patients, generally get C-section to avoid risks associated with normal delivery. Due to multiple or more than one embryo implantation , the chances of twins or triplets fetuses can be higher. Doctors prefer to conduct a Cesarean on IVF babies , to avoid complications during delivery.
Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome
IVF fertility drugs such as HCG are used for promoting ovulation. Due to medications, ovaries produce too many eggs which results in painful and swollen ovaries. Commonly reported side effects of IVF due to ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome include nausea, abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort.
Miscarriages are common with IVF as the embryo is fertilised in un-natural ways and the uterus often refuses to implant the embryo. The rate of miscarriage increases with increasing maternal age and use of frozen embryo.
Egg Retrieval Complications
Any surgical procedure has risks and pain involved . After ovarian stimulation, the egg is retrieved with the help of the aspiration needle. This is a slightly painful procedure which can or cannot be conducted without anaesthesia. Women with over stimulated ovaries or swollen ovaries experience more pain as compared to non swollen which can lead to infection, bleeding or damage to the urinary bladder, bowel and blood vessels.
Rare Ectopic Pregnancy
The implantation of embryo outside the uterus, in broad ligament or in Fallopian tube or in ovaries is termed as ectopic pregnancy. The rate of ectopic pregnancy is around 2-5 % in total IVF implantation. These pregnancies usually do not thrive and result in spontaneous abortion or miscarriages.
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Nausea And Diarrhoea
Nausea is commonly witnessed with patients undergoing treatment for infertility. Hormonal tablets placed vaginally during IVF treatment causes nausea and diarrhoea in many patients.
Stress both emotionally and physically are side effects of IVF. IVF being a time consuming treatment takes a toll on mental and physical health of the patient. It requires more than two visits to the clinic per week for testing and observations. Many patients undergoing repetitive cycles of IVF complains of stress and mild depression.
Uterine Cramping And Bleeding
After the embryo is transferred and successfully implanted in the uterus, many women experience cramping and bleeding. This cramping can be from moderate to severe depending on the overall health of the patient. Doctor prescribed pain-killers are advised to ease the cramping. In case of severe and heavy bleeding, medical advice is required.
Your specific risks and side effects may vary based on your medical history. Your medical adviser can calculate risks and benefits of IVF treatment based on your diagnosis.
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