All medical treatment has a certain amount of risk associated with it. In fact, every area of life has some risk. Without risk, there is no real gain. In a similar manner, there are risks related to fertility treatment. It is imperative that patients are aware of what they are getting themselves into rather than going in with their eyes closed.
In Vitro Fertilisation has many aspects to it, and there are some risks that come with it. Some of these are general pregnancy risks, while others pertain more to assisted fertility. The IVF treatment includes a number of strong drugs which the patient has to take. The reactions to these drugs sometimes may pose health risks to the patient.
Some of the risks of IVF treatment are:
Multiple births: The probability of multiple births increases greatly with IVF treatment. Many women who undergo IVF pregnancy conceive twins or triplets and occasionally even more babies. Multiple pregnancies pose a major health risk for the mother as well as for the babies. The risk of death before birth is much higher for twins than it is for single babies. Twins are also at great risk for cerebral palsy than single babies.
Ectopic pregnancy: The risk of ectopic pregnancy is between 2% to 5% for IVF pregnancies. This is a condition where the fertilised egg gets implanted outside the uterus. Usually, this pregnancy happens in the fallopian tubes and is not able to sustain. The egg will not survive outside the uterus, and this pregnancy ends in failure.
Birth defects: IVF does not increase the risk of birth defects as compared to normal pregnancy. However, age does increase the risk of birth defects. Many women who undergo IVF procedure are older and hence are at a higher risk for birth defects.
Premature delivery: According to research, it has been found that babies conceived through IVF are more prone to premature births, which could also result in low birth weight. These babies may need medical attention and incubator care when they are born. They are born weak and may require several years to get a healthy status.
Drug reactions: The drugs administered for IVF treatment are very strong and occasionally may have some side effects or serious reactions on patients. It is important that patients carefully discuss with their doctor the effects of the various drugs and medication they have been prescribed. Patients undergoing IVF treatment are required to take fertility injections every day. These could have side effects like OHSS and other conditions.
OHSS: Strong drugs are administered to patients to stimulate the ovaries to produce a greater number of mature eggs. This medication may lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This is a condition where the ovaries get swollen and become painful from being overstimulated. The patient may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and a few other symptoms of discomfort. In normal cases, the symptoms last a week and then subside. However, in rare cases, a patient may develop a more severe case, which could be serious and requires immediate medical attention.
A patient needs to keep her doctor updated about how she feels physically and if she is experiencing any symptoms that are not normal. Medication side effects always exist, but if the concern is addressed in time, it can be prevented from causing major harm or damage to the patient.
The best way for patients to reduce unnecessary risks is to seek fertility care in specialised hospitals with experienced and qualified doctors. Medicover has a proven track record of a high success rate with positive feedback regarding the quality of service from happy customers.