6 Major Risks Of In Vitro Fertilisation

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a safe fertility option, but can lead to certain risks in some cases. Know from an expert. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Sep 11, 2022Updated at: Sep 11, 2022
6 Major Risks Of In Vitro Fertilisation

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a fertilisation process which requires a complex series of procedures for sucessful completion. It can cause mild symptoms such as nausea and bloating sensations. In some cases, patients complain of cramps in the stomach and there might be breast tenderness. All these are usually associated due to the hormones that get produced in the patients such as oestrogen and progesterone which makes the patients experience such changes. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr Shilpa Singhal, Consultant - Birla Fertility & IVF, to know about the risks of IVF. 

Risks of IVF 

1. OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

In this condition, the ovaries tend to swell up. As a result, fluid is accumulated in the stomach in the chest which leads to bloated and decreased urine output. Also, this can cause distress, leading to a situation where the patient might be admitted to ICU. Although with advanced technologies nowadays, there are limited cases of these.

Thirdly, it is at the time of egg retrieval that we tend to see patients might have an injury to organs surrounding the ovary or close to the ovary, such as the urinary bladder, or the bubbles that are there. Because of this injury, there can be some issue in terms of urine output or while passage of the bowel. Also, there can be an injury to the blood vessels that are around the ovary, that can lead to a lot of pelvic hemorrhage for which the patient might have to be admitted to the hospital. These are extremely rare injuries and with a good specialist almost never seen.

2. Miscarriages or ectopic pregnancy

risks of ivf

This can happen once the patient has been saved. So, a patient who has conceived through IVF there is a 2 to 4% risk of having an ectopic pregnancy wherein the pregnancy is lodged into the tubes and not the uterine cavity. Apart from that there is a 15 to 20% of the chances that the pregnancy that has been conceived might land up into an abortion. This is because sometimes the embryos quality is not very good and that is why a patient can experience miscarriage. 

3. Multiple pregnancies

Because we are transferring usually two -three embryos to the uterus, there is a chance that the patient might have more than two pregnancies that are twins and in very rare cases even triplets are seen in the body. These, however, have a chance of undergoing embryo reduction to reduce the number of pregnancies. 

4. Birth Defects

These are usually seen in 2 to 3% of the cases and are as normal as seen in naturally conceived pregnancies. IVF per se does not increase the chance of birth defects in the foetus.

Also read: Factors That Might Affect Your IVF Success Rate, Explains Doctor

5. Emotional stress

This is because of multiple reasons it anxiety may be due to the procedure being a little difficult for patients to sometimes understand the process. The nuances of process if not explained, clearly, the patient can make her feel unprepared for what's coming next and can lead to anxiety. At the same time, the emotional distress might be experienced in case the IVF cycle turns out to be negative. As a result, it is very important that the doctor or the counsellor takes good care and explains the procedure very nicely and in great detail to the patient.

6. Pelvic infection

This usually happens because the patient is exposed to some sort of treatment, when we are putting a needle inside the pelvic cavity. Due to this, an infection might be transferred in unhygienic cases when done properly, these infections usually are not seen and are not reported.