Are you considering IVF? Learn about the risks involved so you can make an informed decision.

Risks of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro. The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid in a laboratory. After the fertilized egg (zygote) undergoes embryo culture for 2–6 days, it is implanted in the same or another woman’s uterus, in a procedure called embryo transfer.

IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Its main purpose is to treat infertility in women. IVF may also be used to preserve fertility in women with cancer who wish to have children later in life.

Risks of IVF

There are several risks associated with IVF, including:

  • Multiple births – IVF increases the risk of multiple births, which can lead to health complications for both the mother and the babies.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) – OHSS is a condition that can occur when the ovaries are stimulated during IVF. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, OHSS can lead to serious complications, such as kidney failure, blood clots, and respiratory problems.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. This can be a life-threatening condition for the mother.
  • Premature birth – Premature birth is more common in babies conceived through IVF. Premature babies are more likely to have health problems, such as breathing difficulties, vision problems, and developmental delays.
  • Birth defects – Birth defects are more common in babies conceived through IVF.

IVF is a complex and expensive procedure. It is not always successful, and it is not without risks. You should discuss all of the risks and potential complications with your doctor before you decide to undergo IVF.

A few associated risks of IVF are:

1. Ovarian hyper stimulation which must be prevented by the fertility specialist

2. Miscarriages

3. Risk of Ectopic pregnancy

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