Before you commit the time and money to in vitro fertilisation you may wonder, what are the risks of IVF?
What are the IVF risks?
In vitro fertilisation is for people with fertility problems. The biggest risk is the implanted embryo won’t result in a successful pregnancy. More so for older couples, there is a higher risk of genetic chromosomal disorders occurring in the egg or sperm. To a lesser degree, there are some risks to the woman during stimulation of the ovaries, and the implantation of the embryo. Because of the risks, not all women who have reproductive issues are candidates for IVF treatment.
How old is too old?
In a previous article , I noted that women under 30 tend to have around a 40% success rate. Women over 40 have an 8% chance with each embryo transferred. Age alone doesn’t mean IVF will work.Because the success rate isn’t guaranteed, some couples may opt for additional IVF treatments, if the previous treatment did not succeed.
Does in vitro fertilisation hurt?
Some, but not all women, may feel minor pain for a few days while their ovaries are stimulated. There will be some discomfort around surgery area when the eggs are removed. In some cases, the woman experiences a cramping sensation for a day or two after the surgery. Many women say the implantation step feels like having a pap smear. There is a few minutes of pressure from the instruments. Each woman has her own comfort level. So, the doctor and staff keep close contact to ensure there is the least discomfort at each step.
How likely are multiple births?
Multiple births with IVF are not as likely as they used to be. Each woman has her own unique health profile, the doctor considers both the safety of the mother and baby first. Multiple births are considerably riskier, and may be even more so for a woman with fertility issues. So, most fertility specialists try to avoid multiple births. Considering the variations, the minimum number of healthy embryos are used (often one is the best number).