IVF is an advanced reproductive therapy for treating infertility. As
with any medical procedure, complications related to IVF are also common. IVF
complications may arise due to different factors which are associated with the
procedure. Read on to get an idea about IVF complication.
considered to be a more or less harmless procedure. But one needs to understand
that since this is a surgical procedure, it is just quite likely that a few
individuals might well experience certain complications and side-effects.
Amongst the most common complications related to IVF
treatment, we find –
- A complete failure of the treatment that is, a failed pregnancy
- A series of health problems originating from ovarian stimulation
- Problems associated with the procedure of egg collection
several studies that indicate the overall mortality rate in pregnancies
emanating from IVF treatment, are much higher compared to the maternal
mortality rate in the normal pregnancies. For every 100,000 IVF induced
pregnancies, there are 42 deaths of the mothers, while the number is 6 deaths
in general pregnancies.
the indications obtained from various studies and research, serious
complications due to IVF are quite rare. The possible complications of IVF are
divided into four distinct categories:
Complications Origination from Retrieval
retrieval is a relatively simple and straight forward procedure. But the point
that needs to be realised here is that every individual has a different
anatomy. Now the difference cannot be categorised as abnormal as long as the
other associated functions of the body are going on fine. However, due to this
variance in the anatomical structure in some women, the process of egg
retrieval might become difficult. Inserting a catheter and reaching inside the
ovaries might become a tedious effort.
In such cases,
it is likely that the internal organs in the area might experience a slight to
moderate damage; the organs include the blood vessels, bladder and bowel.
Internal damage is also likely to occur in the most simple of cases, but the
probability is very less. During the retrieval process, the most common minor
complication that takes place is that a small blood vessel might experience an
inadvertent puncture and bleeding occurs. This complication results in cramps and moderate to acute pelvic pain, which is medically
treated and it dies out over the next few days.
Problems Associated with Hyperstimulation
injections are administered to the woman to induce hyperstimulation of her
ovaries. During the IVF procedure, the physician usually chooses to for higher
doses. A series of side effects and complications arise due to the medications.
Fluid retention takes place in the body. An excess amount of fluid gets
accumulated in the pelvis, abdomen and even the chest cavity resulting in pain,
bloated feeling and mild to moderate discomfort.
breathing also gets affected. In most cases, rest and a few dose of analgesics
prescribed by the doctor brings in relief. This is not a severe issue as mild
hyperstimulation symptoms are experienced by all women going for IVF. Severe
hyperstimulation is a very rare complication that occurs in less than 1% of the
women. Hospitalisation might be required if the fluid retention is very
Possibility of Multiple Pregnancies
when more than one embryo or egg is transferred. The doctors prefer to go for
multiple transplantations, in order to ascertain the success of the pregnancy. Since
the IVF is a complicated procedure, it is not obviously feasible to transplant
one egg at a time for every failed attempt. So, multiple
pregnancies are a resultant effect of the entire
procedure. Some may be happy at the possibility of twins but the situation gets overtly complicated when additional
foetuses come in progressively. In such cases, the option is to go for
selective foetal reduction, where the additional foetuses are selective
Acute Emotional Stress
This is a
natural follow through of the entire series of complications that the woman
goes through, not to forget the medications that also contribute in inducing
stress as a side effect. This can only be countered by appropriate medical and
psychological counselling along with adequate support from the partner and
There are several studies that indicate the overall mortality rate in
pregnancies emanating from IVF treatment, are much higher compared to the
maternal mortality rate in the normal pregnancies. For every 100,000 IVF
induced pregnancies, there are 42 deaths of the mothers, while the number is 6
deaths in general pregnancies.