What is IVF?
In a normal menstrual cycle your ovaries produce 1 egg every month. With IVF your fertility specialist will prescribe medications to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries so they produce multiple eggs. You will be closely monitored with blood tests and ultrasounds to see how the follicles are developing.
When the eggs are retrieved an embryologist will look at the eggs under the microscope. As not all eggs will have matured, they will pick the ones that are matre, and these eggs will be fertilised with sperm.
The medication that is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs is not without risks. In some cases women may develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Most symptoms are mild but in severe cases, large amounts of fluid are built up in the abdomen and lungs. This can cause very enlarged ovaries, dehydration, trouble breathing, and severe abdominal pain. In very rare cases, OHSS can lead to blood clots and kidney failure.
During egg retrieval you will require an anaesthetic, which incurs the general risks associated with anaesthesia. In some cases the procedure may cause complications when bleeding or infection occurs. The instances of these complications are rare, but it is important that you and your partner are well-informed about the risk factor of IVF treatment.
When a pregnancy follows after IVF treatment, the risks associated with the pregnancy are not very different to a pregnancy that happened naturally.
Having a multiple pregnancy is uncommon with IVF as in most cases a single embryo is transferred. Transferring two embryos means there is an increased chance of a multiple pregnancy. A multiple pregnancy, regardless of whether conceived with IVF or naturally) carries risks:
- Preterm labor and delivery
- Complications of prematurity for the newborns
- Delivery by c-section
- High blood pressure during pregnancy
- Gestational diabetes
- Haemorrhage after delivery
Children born from IVF
Cost of IVF
Please note that the information provided is not medical advice. To obtain personalised information about suspected infertility, please contact your qualified fertility specialist.