Is IVF Safe? | What are the Risks of IVF?

by | Feb 1, 2023 | IVF

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an infertility treatment performed to increase the chances of conception of a child, the more IVF Cycles performed the probability of successful conception increases. The IVF process involves collecting mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries, fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory, and then transferring the resulting fertilized eggs or embryos to the uterus. let’s discuss whether is IVF Safe.

Procedure/Process of IVF:

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that can help couples struggling with infertility to conceive a child. The process of IVF involves several steps and can take several weeks to complete. Here is an overview of the procedure/process of IVF.

Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation

The first step in the IVF process/procedure is ovarian stimulation. This step involves using medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is important because more eggs can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. The medication is typically administered as injections and may be taken for up to two weeks.

Step 2: Egg Retrieval

Once the eggs have matured, they are ready to be retrieved. This is done using a needle guided by ultrasound, which is inserted into the ovaries to collect the eggs. The procedure is typically done under sedation or anesthesia to minimize discomfort.

Step 3: Sperm Collection

On the same day as the egg retrieval, the male partner provides a sperm sample, which is collected through ejaculation. If necessary, sperm can also be retrieved through a procedure called testicular sperm extraction (TESE).

Step 4: Fertilization

Once the eggs and sperm have been collected, they are combined in a laboratory dish for fertilization to occur. This is called insemination. Alternatively, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used, which involves injecting a single sperm directly into each egg.

Step 5: Embryo Culture

The fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are left in the laboratory for several days to grow and develop. During this time, the embryos are monitored to ensure they are developing normally.

Step 6: Embryo Transfer

After several days of culture, one or more embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. This is done using a catheter inserted through the cervix. The procedure is typically painless and does not require anesthesia.

Step 7: Pregnancy Test

Two weeks after the embryo transfer step, a pregnancy test is done to determine if the embryo transfer procedure was successful.

IVF is a complex and often emotional process that can help couples struggling with infertility to conceive a child. While the procedure can be expensive and time-consuming, it has a high success rate and can be a viable option for many couples. Patients should work closely with their healthcare provider to understand the process of IVF and to determine if it is the right option for them.

Is IVF Safe?

Yes, IVF treatment is a safe infertility treatment procedure. In the modern era, IVF is a very patient-friendly procedure. We at Little Angel IVF help couples to make their IVF journey as smooth and problem free as possible. Overall, IVF is considered a safe procedure. The risks associated with IVF are relatively low and are typically related to the use of fertility drugs and the actual process of egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

 

Factors That Affect IVF Safety:

The safety of IVF can be affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Age: The success rates of IVF decrease as a woman gets older, and older women may be at a higher risk of complications.
  • Health: Women with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may be at a higher risk of complications.
  • Fertility drugs: The use of fertility drugs can increase the risk of side effects and complications.
  • Clinic: The safety of IVF can also be affected by the quality of the clinic and the experience of the medical team.

IVF Safety concerns:

One of the main concerns about IVF is the potential for multiple pregnancies, which can increase the risk of complications such as premature delivery and low birth weight. However, advances in IVF technology, including the use of single embryo transfer and pre-implantation genetic testing, have significantly reduced the risk of multiple pregnancies.

Other potential risks associated with IVF include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), in which the ovaries become swollen and painful, and ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo implants outside the uterus. However, these risks are relatively rare and can be managed with careful monitoring and appropriate medical intervention.

There is also some concern that IVF may increase the risk of birth defects, although studies have shown that the risk is generally no higher than in naturally conceived pregnancies.

 

IVF Safety measures:

IVF clinics typically follow strict protocols to ensure the safety of patients. This includes screening for infectious diseases and genetic disorders, as well as monitoring hormone levels and ovarian function during treatment. The use of sedation and anesthesia during egg retrieval is also carefully managed to minimize the risk of complications.

Overall, IVF is considered a safe and effective treatment for infertility when performed by qualified professionals in a reputable clinic. While there are potential risks associated with the procedure, these are generally low and can be managed with appropriate medical intervention.

 

What are the Risks of IVF?

A major side effect of IVF includes Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This is common in PCOS patients and includes ovarian enlargement, bloating, vomiting, weight gain, decreased urination and tightness of the abdomen. However, there are IVF treatment processes and injections which can be safely used during IVF, especially in PCOS patients which minimize the risk of OHSS and decrease it to almost zero risk. Many couples also ask me about IVF and the risk of cancer.  There were reports suggesting a slight increase in the incidence of hormone-sensitive cancers like breast cancer and uterine cancer. However, it is reassuring that current research and also Practice Committee of ASRM do not show any link between IVF and breast cancer, ovarian cancer or uterine cancer. The process of egg retrieval is a safe procedure done under anesthesia. Eggs are retrieved under ultrasound guidance through the vaginal route so there is no surgery or laparoscopy involved. There is a potential risk of bleeding, infection or bowel /bladder injury but it is minimal when done by an expert and there is no need to worry. After the embryo transfer, there is a 2-week wait till the pregnancy test is done. During this period, some hormonal medications like progesterone are given to support the pregnancy.

IVF Risks/Side Effects-

 

Minor IVF Side Effects Severe IVF Side Effects
Minor Nausea O.H.S.S
Minor Constipation Chances of Multiple Pregnancies
Minor Cramping Fainting/Tiredness
Minor Blood Spotting Probability of Miscarriage
Minor Bloating IVF Can lead to Ectopic Pregnancy
Minor Mood swings Gain in Weight
Minor Hot Flashes Bladder/Bowel damage

While these complications are rare, it is important to be aware of them and to discuss them with your doctor before undergoing IVF.  Overall, IVF is a safe and effective fertility treatment. While there are risks associated with the procedure, these risks are relatively low and can be managed with careful monitoring and medical attention. If you are considering IVF, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor and to choose a reputable clinic with experienced medical professionals.

Pros & Cons of IVF Treatment:

 

Pros of IVF Treatment Cons of IVF Treatment
1. High success rates for couples struggling with infertility, particularly for women over the age of 35. 1. Expensive, a single IVF cycle cost in 1,50,000₹ – 2,00,000₹, often not covered by insurance.
2. Probability of pregnancy for couples who otherwise would not be able to conceive naturally. 2. Physical and emotional toll, including hormonal injections, frequent doctor visits, and the stress of multiple failed attempts.
3. Options for genetic testing and selection of the healthiest embryo. 3. Increased chances of multiple pregnancies.
4. Causes insulin resistance and is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 4. Causes insulin resistance and is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
5. Provide couples control over the timing of pregnancy and can be used to preserve fertility for the future. 5. No guarantee of success if patient’s age is more than 40, with many cycles required before a successful pregnancy.

 

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a type of assisted reproductive technology that has become a popular option for couples struggling with infertility. IVF treatment can be successful for a wide range of infertility causes, but it also has its drawbacks. The pros of IVF include a high success rate for couples, the opportunity for pregnancy for couples who otherwise would not be able to conceive naturally, and the ability to perform genetic testing and select the healthiest embryo. Additionally, IVF gives couples control over the timing of pregnancy and can be used to preserve fertility for medical reasons.

However, the cons of IVF include the high cost, which is often not covered by insurance, and the physical and emotional toll that it can take on couples, including hormonal injections, frequent doctor visits, and the stress of multiple failed attempts. IVF also carries an increased risk of multiple pregnancies, which can lead to health complications for both the mother and babies, and there is no guarantee of success, with many cycles required before a successful pregnancy.

Also Read: IVF Kya Hai

 

IVF Success Rates in India:

According to data from the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), the success rate of IVF in India ranges from 30% to 35% per cycle for women under 35, with success rates decreasing as women age. For women over 40, the success rate drops to around 10%.

However, it is important to note that success rates can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the clinic and the experience of the medical team. Patients should also be aware that multiple cycles of IVF may be necessary to achieve a successful pregnancy.

 

Factors Affecting Success Rates of IVF:

There are a number of factors that can affect the success rate of IVF, including:

  • Age: Women under 35 generally have higher success rates than older women.
  • Cause of infertility: IVF is more likely to be successful for couples with male-factor infertility or unexplained infertility than for those with female-factor infertility.
  • Quality of eggs and sperm: The quality of the eggs and sperm used in IVF can also affect the success rate.
  • A number of embryos transferred: While transferring multiple embryos can increase the chances of success, it also increases the risk of multiple pregnancies.

While the success rate of IVF in India is generally high for women under 35, success rates can vary widely depending on a number of factors. Patients should carefully consider the quality of the clinic and the experience of the medical team when choosing an IVF provider and should be aware that multiple cycles may be necessary to achieve a successful pregnancy.

 

Cost Of IVF In India in 2023:

The cost of IVF in India can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the clinic, the experience of the medical team, and the location of the clinic. On average, the cost of a single cycle of IVF in India can range from ₹ 1,20,000 to ₹ 2,00,000 (approximately $1,500 to $3,000 USD).

However, it is important to note that the cost of IVF in India is significantly lower than in many other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, where the cost of a single cycle can exceed $10,000 USD.

 

Factors Affecting the Cost of IVF:

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of IVF in India, including:

  • Clinic Location: The cost of IVF can vary depending on the location of the clinic. Clinics in major cities such as Mumbai and Delhi may be more expensive than those in smaller towns or rural areas.
  • Clinic reputation: Clinics with a reputation for high success rates may charge more for IVF services.
  • Medical team experience: IVF procedures performed by experienced medical teams may be more expensive than those performed by less experienced teams.
  • Additional services: Some clinics may offer additional services such as pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) or donor eggs or sperm, which can increase the cost of IVF.

Financing options:

While the cost of IVF in India can be significant, there are a number of financing options available to help couples afford the procedure. Many IVF clinics offer financing plans or payment options, such as instalment payments or credit card payments. Some clinics also offer discounts for multiple cycles of IVF.

In addition, there are a number of organizations and foundations in India that provide financial assistance for IVF, particularly for couples with limited financial resources.

Conclusion:

During this period, in order to minimize these side effects, a healthy diet with plenty of water, fresh fruits and salads should be consumed. Constipation can be relieved with syrup and there are no major side effects or risks. Once the pregnancy test is positive, one should be alert and rule out an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo gets implanted in the tube and not in the womb. This is can be detected early on by slow growth of beta HCG and Dr Mona Dahiya and her team at Little Angel IVF monitor this test and the levels as per protocol and keep the couple updated. Thus, there is no major challenge. There is an element of the financial and emotional stress involved in IVF and the couples at Little Angel IVF are counselled by the experts and hand holding is done at every step to make the IVF Journey a happy and memorable experience. Hence, it is important for couples undergoing IVF to be aware of these facts before they start their treatment. It is important to know that IVF is the most effective method for conception with the highest success rate when chosen for the right select group of couples who need it.

FAQs:

Q: Is IVF safe?

A: IVF is generally considered safe, but like any medical procedure, it has some risks and potential side effects. The safety of IVF depends on several factors, including the age and health of the woman undergoing the procedure, the underlying fertility issue, and the specific drugs and techniques used during treatment. It is always important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of IVF with your doctor and make an informed decision based on your individual situation.

Q: Is IVF Safe for Mother?

A: IVF is generally considered safe for the mother, but there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of. These can include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can cause pain and swelling in the ovaries, and multiple pregnancy, which can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. There may also be a risk of ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus. Again, it is important to discuss these risks with your doctor and make an informed decision about whether IVF is the right choice for you.

Q: After How Many Weeks of IVF Pregnancy Is Safe?

A: IVF pregnancy is considered safe once a viable pregnancy is established and the embryo has implanted in the uterus. This typically occurs after about 7-10 days after embryo transfer. The pregnancy will then be monitored through regular ultrasound appointments to ensure that it is progressing normally. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend all scheduled appointments to ensure the health and safety of your pregnancy.

Q: Is IVF Safer than Natural Conception?

A: It is difficult to compare the safety of IVF and natural conception because they are two different methods of achieving pregnancy. IVF can be a safe option for couples who are facing infertility issues and have not been able to conceive through natural methods. However, IVF also has some potential risks and side effects, as mentioned above. The safety of IVF will depend on individual factors, including the age and health of the woman undergoing the procedure, the underlying fertility issue, and the specific drugs and techniques used during treatment.

Q: Is IVF Safe After 40?

A: IVF can be a safe option for women over 40, but the success rate may be 5% or lower compared to younger women. Women over 40 are more likely to experience infertility and may have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. It is important to discuss these risks with your doctor and make an informed decision about whether IVF is the right choice for you.

Q: What Is IVF Success rate?

A: The success rate of IVF varies depending on several factors, including the age of the woman undergoing the procedure, the underlying fertility issue, and the specific drugs and techniques used during treatment. On average, the live birth rate for women under 35 undergoing IVF is about 40-50%, while the success rate for women over 40 may be lower. It is important to discuss your individual chances of success with your doctor and consider factors such as your age, medical history, and underlying fertility issue when making a decision about IVF.

Q: What are the risks associated with the embryo transfer?

A: The risks associated with the embryo transfer are typically minor and may include cramping, bloating, or discomfort during the procedure. In rare cases, there may be a risk of infection or bleeding. Additionally, there is a small risk of losing the pregnancy after the transfer, although this is not a direct risk of the procedure itself.

Q: What are the risks of the egg retrieval?

A: The risks of the egg retrieval procedure are generally minor and may include mild discomfort or pain, bleeding, or the risk of infection.

Q: What kind of side effects can occur with IVF medicines?

A: Some common side effects of IVF medicines include bloating, mood swings, hot flashes, headaches, and abdominal pain. More serious side effects can include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), blood clots, and allergic reactions.

Q: What are the risks of the egg retrieval in IVF?

A: Risks of egg retrieval include infection, bleeding, damage to surrounding organs, and in rare cases, anesthesia complications.

Q: What are the risks associated with the embryo transfer in IVF?

A: Risks associated with embryo transfer are minimal and include infection, bleeding, and cramping.

Q: If I conceive with IVF, will my pregnancy be more complicated than natural pregnancy?

A: There is no conclusive evidence that IVF pregnancies are inherently more complicated than natural pregnancies. However, women who conceive with IVF may have a higher risk of certain pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth and low birth weight.

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

A: There is a slightly higher risk of birth defects in babies conceived through IVF, but the overall risk is still low. Factors that may increase the risk of birth defects include the age of the mother and the cause of infertility.

Q: How Long Does IVF Take?

A: The length of an IVF cycle can vary, but it typically takes about 4-6 weeks from the start of medication to the embryo transfer.

Q: What are the Costs of IVF?

A: The cost of IVF can vary depending on factors such as location, clinic, and insurance coverage. In the US, the average cost of a single IVF cycle is around $12,000-$15,000, not including additional costs for medications and diagnostic tests.

Q: After How Many Weeks IVF Pregnancy Is Safe?

A: IVF pregnancies are generally considered safe after the first trimester (12 weeks). However, the safety of the pregnancy may also depend on other factors, such as the age of the mother and the presence of underlying health conditions.

Q: Is It Safe To Orgasm During Early Pregnancy Ivf?

A: Yes, it is generally safe to have an orgasm during early pregnancy, including IVF pregnancies. However, women who have experienced complications during pregnancy or who have been advised by their doctor to avoid sexual activity should follow their doctor’s advice.

Q: Is It Safe to Fly After Ivf Implantation?

A: It is generally safe to fly after IVF implantation, but women who have experienced complications during pregnancy or who have been advised by their doctor to avoid travel should follow their doctor’s advice. It is also recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours after the embryo transfer before flying.

Q: How many IVF cycles are safe?

It is generally considered safe to undergo up to six IVF cycles, but the exact number can vary depending on individual factors such as age, overall health, and response to treatment. Your doctor can provide personalized guidance on the number of IVF cycles that are safe for you.

Q: Is intercourse safe during IVF?

A: Sexual intercourse is generally safe during IVF treatment, although your doctor may advise against it in certain cases such as during the egg retrieval process or if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Q: Is IVF egg retrieval dangerous?

A: Egg retrieval during IVF is generally considered safe, but there are some potential risks such as bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding organs. Your doctor will monitor you closely during the procedure to minimize these risks.

Q: Is IVF safe for the mother?

A: IVF is generally safe for the mother, although there are some potential risks such as multiple pregnancies, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and ectopic pregnancy. Your doctor can provide personalized guidance on the risks associated with IVF for your specific situation.

Q: Is IVF harmful to health?

A: IVF is generally safe and does not cause long-term harm to a person’s health. However, there are some potential risks associated with the treatment, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, multiple pregnancies, and ectopic pregnancy. Your doctor can provide personalized guidance on the risks associated with IVF for your specific situation.

Q: What is a disadvantage of IVF?

A: One disadvantage of IVF is that it can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance, making it inaccessible for some individuals. Additionally, IVF can be emotionally and physically taxing, and there are some potential risks associated with the treatment.

Q: What is the risk in IVF pregnancy?

A: Some potential risks associated with IVF pregnancy include multiple pregnancies, preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects. Your doctor will monitor your pregnancy closely to minimize these risks and ensure the health of you and your baby.

Q: Are IVF babies normal?

A: Yes, IVF babies are typically normal in terms of physical, intellectual, and emotional development. However, they may have a slightly higher risk of certain health conditions, such as low birth weight and premature birth.

Q: Why do people fail IVF?

A: IVF can fail for many reasons, including poor embryo quality, implantation failure, and underlying health conditions such as uterine abnormalities or low sperm count.

Q: What is the main reason IVF fails?

A: The main reason IVF fails is due to implantation failure, which occurs when the embryo fails to attach to the uterine lining. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, embryo quality, and uterine abnormalities.

Q: How much does IVF cost?

A: The cost of IVF can vary depending on factors such as location, clinic, and insurance coverage. In the US, the average cost of a single IVF cycle is around $12,000-$15,000, not including additional costs for medications and diagnostic tests.

Q: When is IVF not recommended?

A: IVF may not be recommended for women who have certain medical conditions that may make pregnancy unsafe, such as severe heart or kidney disease. It may also not be recommended for women over a certain age, as the success rate of IVF decreases with age.

Q: Can you choose gender with IVF?

A: Yes, it is possible to choose the gender of a baby through a process called preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). This involves analyzing the genetic makeup of embryos before they are transferred to the uterus. However, this process is not legal or available in all countries.

Q: Do IVF babies look like their parents?

A: Yes, IVF babies typically look like their biological parents, as the process involves using the mother’s eggs and the father’s sperm.

Q: Can IVF damage your body?

A: IVF is generally safe and does not cause significant long-term damage to the body. However, the medications used in IVF can cause side effects and there is a slight risk of complications during procedures such as egg retrieval.

Q: Are there serious risks involved with IVF?

A: While IVF is generally considered safe, there are some risks involved, such as infection, bleeding, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The risk of serious complications is low, but it is important to discuss potential risks with your doctor before starting IVF.

Q: Is IVF harmful long term?

A: There is currently no evidence to suggest that IVF is harmful in the long term. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential long-term effects of IVF on both the mother and the child.

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    Dr Mona Dahiya

    Dr Mona Dahiya

    IVF Specialist & Consultant

    Dr Mona Dahiya has performed over 10,000+ IVF cycles and is considered a global expert in IVF, ICSI, IUI and male fertility treatment. She is an eminent writer on Infertility Treatment and has over 100 Publications in both International and National Journals. Dr Mona Dahiya has immensely contributed to the field of infertility through her Research and articles.

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