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IVF Side Effects And Risks You Must Know

| 08 May 2020 | 1780 Views |

Few IVF side effects after IVF treatment includes. Though there is no need to worry about post the IVF treatment and most women get back to normal life after a couple of days.

IVF Side Effects from Medication

Unluckily, hormonal medications utilized for ovarian stimulation can bring a few IVF risks side effects. The indications you feel might be different from female to female. It may also vary depending upon the category of medication consumed.

  • Pimple or acne
  • Swing in mood
  • Pain at the injected area
  • Stomach swelling or uneasiness
  • Atypical and severe side effects of fertility medications
  • Dryness in vagina
  • Hot flashes
  • Flabbiness and pain in Breasts
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Faintness
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Problem in sleeping
  • Menstrual stain and bleeding

All the above IVF treatment side effects create problems for the female counterpart. However, most of them are not severe. In some cases, women do face more serious side effects that need medical guidance. If you are going through these side effects, then get instant medical assistance and care. These severe side effects include

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

Several symptoms of OHSS (swelling, nausea, and ovarian uneasiness) are minor. They normally recover within a couple of days after egg gathering. In serious cases, OHSS can lead to a big layer of fluid developing in the lungs and abdominal area. This can result in serious stomach ache, breathing difficulty, dehydration, and excessive enhanced ovaries rarely in fewer than 1 percent of females having egg retrieval for IVF treatment, OHSS can cause kidney failure and blood clotting. If you want more details about OHSS, you need to see the ASRM fact sheet for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Previous reports from numerous decades ago recommended a connection between the use of fertility drugs and ovarian cancer. However, present and well-researched reports haven’t shown an apparent relationship between the use of fertility drugs and ovarian cancer.

  • Changes in vision
  • Allergic infection due to medications
  • Ovarian torsion (abnormal ovary, related with OHSS)

What are the risks of egg retrieval?

At the time of egg release, your surgeon uses vaginal ultrasound to instruct the penetration of a long thin syringe via your vagina inside the ovary and then inside each follicle to release eggs.

Must Read- The Mysteries of IVF and Constipation – A Comprehensive Guide

Possible risks for this process include

Wound to organs adjacent to the ovaries such as blood vessels, bowel, and the bladder. Blood vessel injury and bowel injury need emergency treatment rarely and irregularly, blood transfusions

Pelvic infection (minor to serious) – Pelvic infections subsequent to embryo transfer or egg retrieval are now irregular due to antibiotic medications that are generally given during egg collection. A serious infection might need hospitalization and emergency treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

Minor to restrained abdominal and pelvic pain (at the time or after) – In several cases, patients get relief from pain within 1 or 2 days. It can be handled with over-the-counter pain medicines.

Surgery might be needed to take out one or both of the ovaries and uterus and tubes to handle a serious infection. Females who have had pelvic infections or endometriosis indulging ovaries have the possibility to receive Risks of IVF-related infections

If you face any of the below-mentioned indications, call your surgeon without wasting a single second
Body temperature over 100.5 °F (38 °C) (fever)
Excessive vaginal bleeding
Pelvic pain

Some rare side effects after Embryo Transfer

The process performed to retrieve eggs and implant embryos is not painful or encompassing, but uneasiness at the time and after embryo transfer is generic. Generic side effects may include

  • Constipation
  • Breast flabbiness
  • Minor vaginal discharge (minor of major bleeding)
  • Slight swelling and cramping

Get instant medical care if you find more severe indications such as excessive bleeding, blood in urine, serious pelvic pain, and high fever (over 38 °C). It is infrequent, but infection and other health issues are possible after these processes.

If I conceive with IVF, will my pregnancy be more complicated (than if I conceived on my own)?

Multiple conceiving (more than one baby) is possible IVF treatment side effect, specifically when more than one embryo is implanted.

These pregnancies bring major risks that include

Preterm delivery: It is all about delivering the baby before the anticipated delivery time ( apart from naturally or with IVF treatment), and they are very risky. There are multiple health concerns associated with preterm delivery, which are temperament issues, intestinal infections, lung development complications, stammering, cerebral palsy, and so on.

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pregnancy-related high blood pressure
  • Maternal hemorrhage
  • Delivery by cesarean section (C-section)

Risks Associated with IVF

While performing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a feasible method for a couple facing infertility. But it is not free from any risk.

However, risks are rare, and pregnancy achieved by IVF has merely the same risk level as compared to the natural process. But before undertaking the IVF treatment, you should know which Side effects from IVF and risks are probable:


Fortunately, there is no concrete proof that states the connection between IVF and increased risk of miscarriage. However, don’t forget that a miscarriage is always a possibility, and pregnant women need to be taken care of. There is always a risk in the initial phase of the pregnancy. The possibilities of miscarriage also increase with the age of the woman.

For some cases, miscarriage is specifically hard after undertaking a deep and costly treatment such as IVF

Ectopic Pregnancy

Although embryos are transferred straight in the uterus when IVF is performed, in a few cases ( 2 to 5 percent), an ectopic pregnancy takes place. When the embryos don’t connect to the uterine lining and grow in other parts of the reproductive system. Ectopic pregnancies generally take place in the fallopian tubes.

However, it can also take place in abdominal cavities, the cervix, and the ovaries. Ectopic pregnancy is not feasible and brings severe health complications. If it is not detected timely or not treated, then it can cause severe life-risking bleeding.

Emotional and Physical Stress

When you are undergoing IVF treatment, one of the IVF risks is that it can be a tiresome process for some couples. The IVF needs physically active on the woman’s body because of hormonal drugs that must be injected.

Numerous tests are required to track the development and transfer and retrieval process. The IVF treatment can be physically and emotionally stressful for couples because there is hope as well as doubt involved in the process. After the IVF cycle gets failed, it is like a trauma for the couples.

Hence couples must have open and communicative towards each other to handle the negative effects on relationships. You can take relationship counseling to get rid of this emotional trauma.

Premature Birth

In some infrequent cases, pregnant women through IVF may face premature birth. Due to premature birth, there is a high risk of having a baby with low birth weight. This risk is more in IVF treatment as compared to the natural pregnancy process. But the IVF side effects and risks ofpremature birth can be reduced when frozen embryos are implanted instead of new and unfrozen embryos.

Conceiving Multiples

If you are facing a problem in conceiving a child, then you might not consider multiple births as a problem. And it doesn’t seem a problem for you. But multiple births are connected to various complications and lead to extreme risks in the pregnancy. The patients who try IUI have more chances to give multiple births, and it can be possible in IVF too.

Complications related to multiple births include

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Excessive bleeding and anemia
  • The requirement for cesarean section
  • High BP and pre-eclampsia( Pregnancy-related)

The kids also have the chance to be born with low birth weight and premature. It also grows the risk of life-threatening problems such as lifelong physical disability cerebral palsy, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS), etc.

Risks for older women

The age factor is important in IVF treatment. Make sure the age of the women is not exceeding 35 years. IVF treatment is rarely successful with the growing age of the female. Moreover, the complications of birth disability and miscarriage risk increases with the age of a woman who is undergoing the IVF process.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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