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Women's Health

Understanding the Risks of IVF Treatment

Even though IVF has been a widely popular treatment plan and there has been a significance increase in IVF success rates , the treatment plan is not entirely exempted or free of any risks.


Like any medical procedure, IVF treatment comes with some level of risk attached. For most couples, having a child is so important that they consider it worth the risk, but it is still important to fully comprehend what could go wrong. It is only smart that you are aware of the potential problems that could occur during the procedure, so that you are able to handle and avoid them.

In this article I will outline the possible risks IVF carries and how they can be minimized.

  • Could be unsuccessful:

IVF treatments are not only costly, but individuals also go through a mentally challenging and physically exhausting journey during the procedure. If the treatment fails and you don’t get pregnant, you might be in for a shock if you are not already prepared to handle it.

Thus it is important that you are thoroughly aware of the chance that your treatment might fail, thus damaging you financially and maybe emotionally. Nonetheless, going for IVF is still a good option because IVF success rates are pretty high so there is hope, but being careful is always a good option.

There are many fertility counselors who help individuals manage the stress they go through during the treatment. Moreover, today a lot of fertility clinics offer a partial refund in case of a failed treatment.

  • Excess ovary stimulation:

IVF involves acquiring more eggs which results into ovary stimulation. Although it is not very common, it occurs in up to only 5% of all patients undergoing IVF treatment.

This can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. In extreme cases, you may experience difficulty in breathing and kidney failure.

However, the risk associated with this could be minimized by having your doctor observe and monitor your hormone level and ovaries.

  • Causes multiple pregnancy:

Often more than one fertilized eggs are planted as it maximizes the likelihood of pregnancy. Especially women, who are over 35, would want to carry more eggs to increase the chance of conceiving compared to women who are young.

Though this has been successful, this technique also increases the risk of multiple pregnancy.

Experts suggest a limited number of embryos to be planted to avoid this problem. You should take advice from your doctor on the number of embryos you could get planted, based on your age and other relevant factors.

  • Surgical risks:

IVF requires surgeries during the removal of the egg, and implanting it back. It is only fair that patients are well aware of the risks associated with the surgery.

Though this has an extremely low chance, but sedating during the surgeries requires drugs which may have an adverse effect on organs.  Also IVF causes pelvic infection as when removing the eggs; a needle is passed from vaginal wall to the ovary, thereby leaving it vulnerable to infections. However, if caught on time, infections can be treated through antibiotics.

  • Premature delivery:

Some studies have shown that IVF often causes a premature delivery. Babies are thus not developed fully and have a very low weight during the time of the delivery. This leaves your baby vulnerable to infections and other diseases because of their weak immune system and their organs not being developed fully.

However, today, there are many such cases. Advancements in medicine have made it possible to treat problems suffered by premature babies.

A lot of money, resources and energy are required when you undergo IVF treatment. Thus it is only fair that you are aware with the risks and problems associated with it, in order to cope with them, should you face them.

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