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What are the side effects & risks of IVF?

by John

In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, is a fertility treatment that involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted into the woman’s uterus. In this article, we’ll read about the side effects and risks of ivf. Before moving forward, we do recommend you to visit an IVF center for consultation and personal guidance.  

IVF can be an effective fertility treatment for couples who have difficulty conceiving due to reasons such as endometriosis, Portal hypertension and PCOS. It can also be used to preserve fertility in cancer patients who need to undergo treatments that may damage their reproductive organs. The IVF process typically takes place over the course of several weeks and requires careful monitoring by a team of medical professionals. 

Let’s take a look at some of the possible side effects and risks of in-vitro fertilisation.

What are the side effects & risks of IVF?


Nausea is a common side effect of IVF because the hormones that are used to stimulate ovulation. These symptoms usually go away after the drugs are stopped.

Breast Tenderness 

Breast tenderness is a common side effect of IVF. It occurs because the hormones that are used in the IVF process cause the ovaries to produce more than one egg. These extra eggs produce extra estrogen, which can cause the breasts to become swollen and sore.


The hormones used to stimulate egg production can cause bloating. The egg retrieval procedure itself can cause abdominal discomfort and bloat. And finally, during early pregnancy, your body produces more progesterone, which can also lead

Fatigue and mood swings 

IVF treatments can be extremely taxing on the body, both emotionally and physically. Fatigue and mood swings are two of the most common side effects reported by women who undergo IVF treatment.

The physical demands of hormone injections, egg retrieval procedures, and embryo transfers can take a toll on the body, leaving women feeling exhausted. The emotional stress of undergoing IVF treatment can also lead to mood swings and anxiety.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

One potential reason is that when a woman’s ovaries are hyperstimulated with fertility drugs, they may produce more than one egg. If more than one egg is released, there is a greater chance that more than one will be fertilized. This can lead to the development of ovarian cysts, which can rupture and cause OHSS.

Another possibility is that the fertility drugs used in IVF may cause the ovaries to produce too much estrogen. Estrogen causes fluid retention, which can lead to the development of OHSS.

Allergic reactions 

Allergic reactions are one of the possible side effects of IVF. While the incidence of allergies is relatively low, they can nonetheless be a cause for concern. Symptoms can range from mild ( itching, swelling) to severe ( difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis). In very rare cases, allergies can even be life-threatening.

If you’re undergoing IVF and start to experience any allergic symptoms, it’s important to let your doctor know right away. They will then be able to help you determine whether or not the allergies are related to the treatment and how best to manage them. In most cases, simply avoiding exposure to the allergen is sufficient. 

Mild Abdominal & Pelvic Pain 

In general, mild pelvic and abdominal pain during IVF is not unusual and is often caused by the fertility medications used during treatment. This pain typically goes away after the treatment cycle is completed. If you are experiencing severe pain or other concerning symptoms, be sure to speak with your doctor right away. 

Increased vaginal discharge 

The increased vaginal discharge in IVF is due to the increase in hormones during the treatment. The discharge is usually clear and thick, and can be quite heavy at times. It is important to keep the area clean and dry, as too much moisture can lead to infection. Wearing a panty liner or thin pad can help absorb the excess moisture. If you are experiencing any itchiness or irritation, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.

Risks associated with embryo transfer 

There is a risk of infection associated with any medical procedure. The risk is small, but it is important to take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection. There is a small risk of miscarriage associated with embryo transfer. The chance of miscarriage depends on many factors though. 

Will IVF increase the risk of my child having a birth defect?

There is no clear answer to this question since the research on the topic is inconclusive. Some studies suggest that IVF may slightly increase the risk of certain birth defects, while other studies have found no increased risk. Ultimately, it is up to each individual couple to make the decision about whether or not to undergo IVF based on their own personal risks and preferences.

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Ectopic Pregnancy in IVF 

Ectopic pregnancy in IVF refers to a situation where the embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. This is a relatively rare complication, but it can be dangerous if not treated promptly. Symptoms include pain and bleeding in the lower abdomen. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the embryo.

Does IVF result in Multiple Births? 

While IVF can be an effective treatment for infertility, it does carry with it a higher risk of multiple births. This is because more than one embryo is typically transferred into the uterus during the IVF process. In fact, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about 40% of all IVF pregnancies result in twins or triplets.

While some parents may see this as a blessing, others may find themselves struggling to care for multiple infants at once. Additionally, multiple births are associated with a higher risk of complications such as prematurity and low birth weight. For these reasons, it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits of IVF with your doctor before undergoing treatment.

Have a conversation with your IVF doctor 

You should contact your IVF doctor to understand the risks of IVF because they are the experts on the subject. They can help you weigh the risks and benefits of the procedure and can guide you through the process. Additionally, they can help you identify any potential complications that may arise and can provide you with instructions on how to minimize those risks. Ultimately, it is important to have a clear understanding of the risks involved in any medical procedure before deciding whether or not to undergo it. There are several treatments that you can consider such as ICSI treatment

What are the side effects & risks of IVF? To sum up: 

While these symptoms can be frustrating, they are unfortunately quite common among women who undergo IVF. However, with proper rest and self-care, most women find that these symptoms eventually subside.

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