By Dr. Kaushal Samir Kadam, IVF Speciality
In Vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped many people fulfil their dreams of having children when normal methods of conception have failed. Even though IVF has many advantages and has been helpful, there still are some risk factors that should be considered before undergoing this treatment.
Some of the risks of IVF are as follows:
- Multiple births: In IVF, more than one embryo is introduced to the uterus. This increases the risk of twins, triplets, etc. Multiple births put more stress on the mother’s health and end up affecting the foetus too. There may be other complications of premature births and low birth weight as well.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: The ovaries can swell and become painful when fertilized eggs are injected. To induce ovulation, sometimes human chorionic gonadotrophin (a human hormone secreted in the placenta) is injected which can cause OHSS. Nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea are some of its symptoms.
- Miscarriage: The chances of miscarriage in women conceiving naturally and through IVF are similar.
- Ectopic pregnancy: When the eggs introduced to the uterus start developing in your fallopian tubes instead of your womb, it is known as ectopic pregnancy. The fertilized egg does not survive outside the womb and hence, the chances of miscarriage become extremely high in such a scenario.
- Egg retrieval complications: Bleeding, damage or infection to the bowel, blood vessel or the bladder is possible when the eggs are collected by a needle. Even using general anaesthesia does not reduce complications.
- Success is not guaranteed: One IVF cycle may not be successful. This generally varies from woman to woman. Sometimes, patients have to go through more than one cycle for the treatment to be successful. Being realistic yet positive is very important if you are planning to undergo IVF.