IVF Procedure and its Complications
IVF is the treatment of choice for couples with blocked fallopian tubes, severe abnormalities in the semen parameters, genetic diseases in either parent resulting in miscarriages or stillbirths, women whose ovaries are failing due to age or other causes of infertility.
During IVF cycles, women need to undergo daily blood tests to regulate the maturity of eggs which develop in the ovaries. Due to hormones given to activate the ovaries, there is a higher possibility of producing more than one egg in the ovaries. While blood tests indicate a certain degree of maturity of eggs, simultaneous ultrasound scans are carried out to know exactly how many eggs are developing.
When the eggs are mature they are aspirated via a procedure called oocyte retrieval following which they are allowed to be fertilised by the sperm in a petri dish in the embryology laboratory. Following fertilization the resultant embryos are transferred to the uterus of the woman. Once the embryo implants in the uterus a blood test for a hormone called BHcG, done a few days later will indicate if the woman is pregnant. A viable pregnancy is confirmed by an ultrasound scan which shows the fetal heartbeat.
There are certain complications which are normally seen in pregnancies following IVF.
Complications with IVF Procedure:
- Multiple gestation, low birth weight and premature delivery: Multiple gestations are mainly a cause for high risk pregnancies, which can get more complicated by preterm births, anaemia, low birth weight in infants, pre-eclampsia, haemorrhage, postpartum, neonatal infant mortality and so on.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy which is not in the womb but either in the tubes or the ovaries is known as an ectopic pregnancy. The chances of ectopic pregnancy following IVF are higher than in natural conception.
- Egg retrieval procedure complications: The entire IVF procedure is extremely straight forward and complications are very rare. However, as in any interventional procedure complications cannot entirely be ruled out.
- There is a possibility of Pelvic Infection
- Minor injuries to your organs closer to the ovaries such as bowel, bladder or blood vessels.
- Mild to moderate pelvic or abdominal pain.
- Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a medical problem affecting women who are undertaking fertility treatment to stimulate egg growth. In most cases these are mild and the condition is resolved. But in some rare cases, this can lead to serious illness or sometimes even fatal for some women. However, with the new range of drugs known as GnRh analogues the incidence of OHSS following IVF has been significantly reduced.
This is a brief overview about IVF and some of the complications that can occur following IVF. If you have any further queries, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, click here. We would be happy to be of assistance.
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