IVF or infertility treatment does not have much side effects or complications but as with all other treatments there are some complications and risks involved.
Medicines and injections used for fertility treatment can have side effects which include
Nausea and vomiting
Mood swings and fatigue
Breast tenderness and increased vaginal discharge
Allergic reaction at the injection site, which includes redness, and soreness that is mild and temporary
OHSS – ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which can be mild or severe
OHSS can be mild where the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal discomfort. These remain for only a few days and subside after egg collection.
Severe OHSS is very rare. In severe cases large amounts of fluid collects in the abdomen and lungs. This leads to severe pain in the abdomen, large ovaries, labored breathing, dehydration. Very rarely it can cause
blood clots, kidney failure and may require ICU admission (in less than 1% cases) Fertility drugs and cancer – earlier reports showed some association of these drugs with ovarian cancer but more recent studies do not show
any association of fertility drugs and cancer Risks associated with egg pick up During egg pick up a long needle is used to aspirate the fluid in each follicle, which is inserted through the vagina. So this can lead to
Mild to moderate pain in the lower abdomen which remains only for a day or two
Infection which is also very rare and more common in females who have large endometriosis and previous pelvic infections but as antibitoics are given the incidence of infection is very negligible
Injury to bowel, bladder, blood vessels. Injury to these organs is extremely rare and may require emergency surgery.
Risks due to embryo transfer
During embryo transfer a small thin tube is inserted through the cervix to place the embryos into the womb and the above side effects maybe observed by some patients which are mild and temporary.
Multiple (two or three) embryos are transferred to enhance the success of IVF, so the patient may have multiple gestation (twins or triplets). So if there is multiple gestation pregnancy complications are more,namely
Pregnancy associated diabetes
Pregnancy associated high blood pressure
Higher incidence of operative delivery
Premature babies who have more health complications Miscarriage
The risk of a miscarriage is the same with IVF conception as the risk in a natural conception. The risk increases as the age of the mother increases.
There is a small risk of ectopic pregnancy with IVF most commonly tubal ectopic. This rate is similar to the risk in infertile women. With IVF there maybe a small risk of heterotopic pregnancy also, wherein there is pregnancy in the uterus along with pregnancy in the tube as well.
The ectopic in case of IVF is picked up early wherein we can treat it with medicines as monitoring with ultrasound in IVF cases is more.