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What are some of the risks of IVF?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Fertility Assistance |

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure that has been around for over 40 years and is used to help couples in California and globally conceive when traditional methods have failed. The success rate of IVF is high, however, there are still risks associated with the procedure, both for the mother and the baby.

What is IVF, and what are the risks?

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the procedure by which eggs are removed from the ovary and fertilized in a laboratory setting. The resulting embryos then go through the process of transferring to the uterus.

Physicians are using IVF when other fertility and surrogacy treatments have failed or when there are other medical reasons why pregnancy cannot occur.

While IVF can be effective, it also carries some risks. These risks include:

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

Also known as OHSS, this occurs when the ovaries become enlarged and produce an excess of eggs. OHSS can cause abdominal pain and vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to shortness of breath, blood clots, and other symptoms.

Ectopic pregnancy

This occurs when the embryo forms outside of the uterus. It usually appears in the fallopian tube. This type of issue can be life-threatening for the mother if left untreated.

Multiple births

IVF increases the risk of twins or triplets due to the transfer of multiple embryos back into the uterus. This can put both mother and baby at risk for pregnancy and delivery complications.

Congenital disabilities

There is a slightly increased risk of congenital disabilities with IVF, although this risk is still relatively low. Some common congenital disabilities associated with IVF include cardiac defects and limb deficiencies.

Success rates and side effects

There is no guarantee that IVF will result in a pregnancy. About 30% of IVF cycles result in a live birth. The success rates vary depending on factors such as the age of the woman, her reproductive history, and the cause of infertility.

IVF is not without risks, but it may be the only option for some couples who want to have a child. It’s essential to speak with your doctor about all the potential risks and side effects before beginning treatment.