Side Effects and Risks of In-Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a common fertility treatment undertaken by many women worldwide. In vitro fertilization in Toronto can bring a lot of success to hopeful parents from all over. Before beginning the IVF process, it is important for all parties to fully understand exactly how the process works, from the first consultation until the last. It will be helpful to understand any risks or side effects that may pop up so you are fully prepared for anything that may arise during the process.

The basics

Before jumping right into potential side effects, it is important to understand exactly how in vitro fertilization works. As the name suggests, an egg is fertilized by the sperm outside of the body and then placed back within the uterus. This is a simple explanation; there are actually quite a few steps that need to take place.

The first step begins with monitoring the woman’s menstrual cycle and preparing the body for a potential pregnancy. Various hormone medications will be injected to help the body produce healthy follicles and, in turn, an egg. The next step involves retrieving the egg so that the sperm can fertilize it outside of the body. This is when it is hoped that an embryo will be formed, which will be monitored until it is time for the embryo to be placed through the cervix and into the uterus. It may be helpful to note that the embryo can be frozen at this stage if needed.

Understanding risks

As with any medical treatment or process, there are some potential side effects and risks. Thankfully, many of the steps of IVF involve minimal discomfort for the woman which is usually temporary. However, any time the physical body is involved in a medical procedure, there is the potential for unwanted side effects. Let’s revisit some of the steps of the process to see where some of the risks involved may occur.

With the hormone injections and any other time a medical professional needs to take blood or inject anything into the body, there is a potential for bleeding or bruising. These are understandable side effects. Going a little further, becoming pregnant also comes with potential risks such as early delivery of the baby and low birth weight. Your medical team will be aware of these risks and will closely monitor you throughout your pregnancy.

Another risk of pregnancy involves the potential for birth defects and even miscarriage. This is likely something that is concerning for many hopeful parents who are on a fertility journey. It’s important to speak to your doctor about these concerns so they can help put your mind at ease and advise you on how to stay healthy.

It is incredibly important that you keep an open line of communication with your medical team about any symptoms or side effects that pop up either during the process of IVF or during pregnancy. They will be able to best advise on what steps you should take to help keep you and your baby healthy throughout the journey.