Complications of IVF

After going through all the fertility tests and other treatment, I discussed with my doctor and decided to go for IVF to fulfil my dreams.

I had heard a lot about the risks and complications of the IVF process, hence I was well prepared. My doctor had briefed me and taken the required steps. It helped me a lot as I could use this technology to the fullest and realize my dreams. Hence, before you start this treatment, I would definitely advice you to understand the risks of IVF properly.

As with any medical or surgical procedure, I have also experienced certain side effects and complications while undergoing IVF. While I did not have to go through all the complications it is important to know that the most common complications associated with IVF treatment are the failure of treatment, problems experienced due to ovarian stimulation, the risk of multiple pregnancies, the risks of egg collection and the chances of ectopic pregnancy.

I came across a research which said that babies born through various ART may tend to be underweight and in some cases are still born; premature or even death was reported within a few weeks after birth. I was briefed and explained by my IVF team that usually women who had babies with the help of fertility treatment had double the chances of birth complications as compared to those who conceived normally.

A very common problem that I have seen with IVF is over stimulation of the ovaries. The fertility drugs which are used with a purpose to stimulate ovulation can lead to many complications. There cannot be any drug that is 100% safe and devoid of any side effects. Fertility drugs may not in itself lead to any complication, however, there are some issues which may happen on account of the drugs. These are: Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), multiple pregnancy and adnexal torsion (ovarian twisting).

OHSS may happen "unanticipated" in the 5 days after HCG trigger infusion or "late" around the time of affirmation of pregnancy when HCG levels climb from the pregnancy. There are numerous methods for minimizing OHSS chance, however, once in a while cycle abrogation may be important.

I have taken fertility drugs as an art of my treatment and all drugs have their own side effects. Some injections like the Puregon as well as the Gonal F injections may lead to some side effects which include bruising and soreness at the spot.  There may also be some abdominal tenderness as well as swelling, breast tenderness, mood changes and swings. Some may also experience nausea. An allergic reaction may also happen. Some drugs such as GnRH (Synarel or Lucrin) analogues may cause headaches, mood changes, hot flushes and vaginal dryness in some women though I did not experience the same. These effects usually do not stay for long and are not alarming.

I developed some cysts while taking the GnRH agonist’s regimes (Synarel). These cysts tend to produce estrogens as it happened with me and sometimes lead to poor result of IVF. If this happens, it is advisable to continue taking GnRH agonist drugs till the cysts resolve by themselves. Aspiration of the cyst may be required in certain cases.