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In Vitro Fertilization(IVF): Does IVF Has Any Health Hazard?

Author Name: Dr. Manika Singh Mentor Name: Dr. Aarifa Aadil on April 08, 2020

Firstly what is IVF its a method of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish. One or more fertilized eggs(embryos) may be transferred into the woman’s uterus, where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop. Serious health hazard from Ivf medicines and procedures are rare.

What health hazards can occur with IVF medicines?

Injectable fertility medications( gonadotropins ) are used for an IVF cycle, these medicines help stimulate a number of follicles with eggs to grow in the ovaries. So possible health hazards associated with these injectable fertility medicines are:

1. Mild bruising and soreness at the injection site
2. Nausea and vomiting
3. Temporary allergic reactions such as skin Reddening/itching
4. Breast tenderness and increased vaginal discharge
5. Mood swings and fatigue
6. Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS): Mostly symptoms of OHSS like nausea, bloating, ovarian discomfort are mild and usually go away without treatment within few days of egg retrieval. However in severe cases OHSS can cause large amount of fluid to build up in the abdomen and lungs, this can cause very enlarged ovaries, dehydration, trouble breathing and severe abdominal pain.

What heath hazards can occur with egg retrieval?

Egg retrieval is done using vaginal ultrasound to guide the insertion of a long thin needle through your vagina into the ovary and ten into each follicle to retrieve eggs. Now what are the possible heath hazards associated with this:

1. Mild to moderate pelvic and abdominal pain(during or after )
2. Injury to organs near ovaries such as bladder bowel and blood vessels
3. Pelvic infection

What are the health hazards associated with the embryo transfer ?

A catheter containing the embryo is used to gently place them into the uterus. Women may feel mild cramping when the catheter is inserted through the cervix or they may’ve vaginal spotting afterwards.

Post conception health hazards related with pregnancy:

Multiple pregnancy is more likely with IVF, particularly when more than one embryo is transferred, these pregnancy carry significant health hazards including:

– preterm labour/ delivery: premature babies(regardless of whether or not they are conceived naturally or with IVF) are at higher risk for health hazard such as lung development problem, intestinal infections, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, language delay, and behavioral problems
– maternal hamorrhage
– delivery by Caesarean section
– pregnancy related high blood pressure
– gestational diabetes

Ectopic pregnancy with IVF there is slightly higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo implants in the Fallopian tube rather than in the womb. This can cause pain followed by vaginal blueing or dark vaginal discharge.

Risks for older women IVF treatment becomes less successful with age in addition risk of miscarriage birth defects increases with the age of the woman having IVF treatment.

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