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IVF potential risks

Updated 04.08.2022

The potential risks and side effects of an IVF procedure could be as follows:

Signs that resemble premenstrual syndrome including symptoms such as flatulence, breast swelling, and mood change. These symptoms are related to the fact that the ovary grows more than one follicle and hormone levels are higher than normal.

In up to 5% of cases ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) may develop. Many follicles are formed, so the ovaries increase in size, the belly becomes easily inflated and sensitive and fluid can accumulate in the abdominal cavity. If you are at a high risk of OHSS, your doctor will make recommendations and during stimulation apply special prevention and stimulation tactics to reduce the risk of OHSS as much as possible. Embryos are usually frozen, and the embryo transfer is carried out when the woman’s condition improves, e.g., after 1-3 months.

If more than one embryo is placed in the uterus, then in 10 to 20% of cases multiple gestations can develop. Multiple gestations have a higher risk of premature birth, as well as increased risks associated with pregnancy and the childbirth process.

Clinical studies confirm that IVF used hormone preparations do not have a negative impact on woman’s health in the long run. There is no evidence that these drugs contribute to breast, ovarian or uterine cancer development. The risk of developing breast and ovarian tumours is higher for nulliparous women. Hormonal contraceptive use in this group of women, in the long run, reduces the risk of these tumours.