Fertility treatments are generally safe and the probability of getting pregnant and having a child is much bigger and pleasurable as compared to the mild discomfort associated with IVF and other fertility treatments. The outcome generally make people forget about the discomforts and stress. Extraction of eggs from a woman’s ovaries can give rise to mild cramping, nausea, mild bleeding or infection. Discomfort usually associated with it is mild and the focus shifts to the potential outcome of the treatment. There are no big risks associated with egg extraction, but there are risks involved when you do get pregnant using IVF. Below are listed the risks associated with conception through IVF.
You could be at risk of multiple pregnancies
Multiple births or pregnancy can be harmful for a woman’s health, twins and triplets can be born weak, underweight and premature. If more than one embryo is implanted in the uterus for conception that can lead to multiple births, but a single embryo can also split into twins and triplets. With multiple babies, the risk of the rate of miscarriage also increases. Mothers can also suffer from health problems, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and other problems. That is why it’s best to have a single healthy baby at a time. The chances of multiple birth with IVF are 10 times more likely than regular conception.
It is best to implant a single embryo in the uterus at a time for conception, and the rest of the embryo can be frozen for future use.
You could be at risk of ectopic pregnancy
If implantation takes place in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus and the embryo sticks to the fallopian tube that is known as ectopic pregnancy. In this case it’s not possible to move the pregnancy to the uterus and the baby sadly will be lost. If ectopic pregnancies are left untreated that can lead to rupturing of the tubes and internal bleeding, therefore it’s advised to consult emergency services as soon as possible. The risk of ectopic is slightly more with IVF treatment, as when the embryo is implanted in the uterus it can move to the fallopian tube and embed there instead of the uterus.
There are a few symptoms that you need to be aware of when there is an ectopic; abdominal pain that would be one sided and low, unusual vaginal discharge, and diarrhea. Immediately consult your doctor or GP if you experience with any of these symptoms after you’ve done IVF. Ectopic pregnancies can still occur in 1% to 2% of all pregnancies, a pelvic inflammatory disease is usually the main cause of ectopic pregnancies in unassisted pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies must be terminated at an early stage as soon as these are identified.
Drug related side-effects
The most common side effects one can face during IVF treatment is due to the drugs and medication they are taking, drugs are used to induce ovulation and it can lead to mild reactions, including hot flashes, headaches, abdominal pain, bloating, mood swings and depression. These side effects are normal and not considered high risk, a serious side-effect though is OHSS (ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome). It is a rare reaction to ovulation inducing drugs, but if it happens it can lead to shortness of breath, fainting, severe stomach pain–all these should be reported immediately to your doctor.
Are birth defects a concern with IVF?
Birth defects or genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities can occur at any stage of any pregnancy, it isn’t clear if assisted and pregnancy resulting from IVF can cause any birth defects, but the risks are always there in any pregnancy. Long-term health of the children is usually not affected by IVF. By 2005 around 2 million babies were born using IVF in the US, the first baby born out of IVF was in 1978. Couples are usually not aware of the potential health risks their children may suffer from due to IVF, children born through IVF were noted to have high blood pressure, high glucose levels and other problems as compared to children born through normal conception.
At the end of the day it comes down to the couple that want to go through IVF to see and analyze all the risks and make the choice that’s best for them.