A happy newlywed couple shares a kiss and starts their new chapter of life. Everything is dreamy and sweet: honeymoon, parties, travels, and …. but they want to make their relationship stronger by having a baby. After months and years of trying and waiting, they accept the reality! They need to go through some medical procedures to hold their own baby.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the available methods to help couples with fertility problems have a baby. This technique has advanced since 1978 when the first IVF baby was born and nowadays, 50% of IVF procedures result in a live birth (as long as the woman is younger than 35). However, just like other medical procedures, IVF has its drawbacks.
If you are considering being an IVF candidate, you need to know about the cons (alongside the pros) of this technique. Stay tuned and learn more about the side effects of IVF!
What is IVF?
In the natural pregnancy, the process of egg fertilization takes place inside the fallopian tube but in the IVF technique, eggs and sperms are fertilized in the lab and then the selected embryo will transfer into the uterus by the fertility specialist. Based on your need, you can use your egg or receive a donor’s eggs.
IVF technique has a greater rate of success than IUI and other methods of assisted reproductive technology. However, it is not a miracle or a method for everyone.
Which one is a better option for you: IVF or IUI? Read this article in Tebmadtourism!
Who can be an IVF candidate?
IVF is a costly and complicated procedure; so, before considering this technique, simpler and less costly treatments should have been tried. Moreover, there should be a sensible chance of getting pregnant by means of this technique.
For instance, as a female partner gets older, the success rate of IVF declines. In fact, women aged 43 and over who undergo IVF treatment have only 4% of live birth per egg. It is suggested that candidates maintain a healthy weight and avoid alcohol and smoking during treatment to improve the chance of getting pregnant with IVF.
There are some other reasons behind choosing this procedure, such as male partner’s infertility problems, women with low ovarian reserve, blocked tubes and inherited genetic disorders. For example, parents who are aware of their genetic disorders can trust the IVF procedure to make sure that their baby will not suffer from the disorder.
Every infertile case does not necessarily suffer from a complication or disorder. Sometimes, there is no explanation for being infertile. In effect, while some infertile couples have been evaluated for different causes, there is no cause for infertility. Such cases, also, can take advantage of the IVF method. Of course, all couples need to try to conceive within six months to a year. If after a full year of trying, nothing happens, they should consult a fertility specialist.
IVF can be done as preservation! It is widely known that chemotherapy or radiation, which are among cancer treatments, could threaten fertility. Sometimes it is recommended to go through an IVF procedure to preserve some eggs for later use. It is clear that such preservation is just an option and every patient must seek her doctor’s advice.
Can I use IVF? this article let you know if you are a good candidate to go through this procedure!
As we mentioned earlier, IVF is a complicated procedure that should be done step by step.
Raising awareness about IVF stages helps candidates to make themselves ready for it, both physically and emotionally.
- The first cycle of IVF is taking synthetic hormones from a female partner to stimulate her ovaries. In fact, b taking such hormones, it is expected that the ovaries produce multiple eggs rather than the typical single egg that develops each month.
- After 8 to 14 days, it is time for a daily injection of gonadotropins. Moreover, you need hormone assessments and ultrasound imaging to monitor the development of your follicles.
- Egg retrieval is the next step which is performed 34 to 36 hours after the final injection. During this procedure, the candidate will be sedated and the fertility specialist inserts a needle which is guided by trans-virginal ultrasonography to retrieve the eggs. These eggs are placed in a special medium and cultured in an incubator.
- Then, healthy and mature eggs will be inseminated to create embryos. In Iran, sperm donation is illegal so the candidate can just use her husband’s sperm. The semen sample that the sperm should be separated from it, must be provided on the morning of egg retrieval.
- Based on the normality or abnormality of sperm, there are two common techniques to fertilize mature eggs: Standard (Conventional) insemination, and ICIS. In conventional insemination, healthy sperm are transferred to the dish containing eggs and incubated overnight. ICSI is used to fertilize eggs if sperm parameters are abnormal.
- After assessing the quality of embryos and selecting one or more recommended embryos, the transfer will be done. During embryo transfer, which is a simple procedure and does need anesthesia, the doctor will insert a soft catheter loaded with embryos into your vagina through the cervix and place them in the uterus.
- About 9 to 10 days after the date of your embryo transfer, the doctor will
schedule an hCG blood test to detect and approve the pregnancy.
It is clear that IVF brings joy to the life of many couples.; however, we are going to focus on the dark side of this well-known procedure.
Why my IVF was not successful? Read more!
What are the risks of IVF?
It is your right to know about the potential problems and risks of using an IVF procedure to get pregnant. Although researchers and specialists have been trying to improve this method and diminish the side effects, it is not 100% safe. Just like other medical procedures, there are some proven side effects.
Some mild side effects are cramping, breast tenderness, bloating, constipation, headache, mood swings, hot flushes, and restlessness.
Also, parents need to prepare themselves for multiple births which is the result of replacing more than one embryo in the womb.
Multiple births may seem normal, but in effect, they can increase the risk of complications, both for mother and babies. Some of the associated risks with multiple births are pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, heavy bleeding and anemia, C-sections, and miscarriage.
Ectopic pregnancy can be another potential side effect. In fact, when the fertilized egg implanted in the fallopian tube, instead of the uterus, the fertilized egg cannot survive and the doctor will prescribe quick treatment (either a surgical procedure or a medical treatment called methotrexate).
Another multiple birth problem is related to babies. Such babies are more likely to be born prematurely or with low birth weight. They are more prone to life-threatening complications like newborn respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) or disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
During the egg retrieval procedure, which is inserting a long and thin needle into the ovary through your vagina to retrieve eggs, some problems may happen:
- this needle may injure the organs near the ovaries, such as the bladder, bowel, or blood vessels.
- Pelvic infection is rare nowadays, as candidates take antibiotics during the egg collection phase. However, severe infection is possible and needs special care and treatment at a hospital.
A recently published study showed that children born through IVF may be more prone to blood pressure in adulthood. However, this study is not a reason to stop using IVF but the parents of this at-risk population should be more careful about their lifestyle. Children need to follow an active lifestyle and avoid being overweight.
There are some debates around a slightly higher possibility of a rare genetic syndrome called imprinting disorder with IVF. If a candidate goes through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) along with IVF, an increased risk of birth defects is probable.
Painfully, no fertility specialist and clinic can guarantee the success of IVF and most candidates have to undergo more than one cycle of treatment to get pregnant and hold their babies.
Can I choose gender by means of IVF? Read this article!
The bottom line
IVF is a procedure to address infertility and one of the assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques. It is believed that IVF has a greater rate of success than IUI and other methods of assisted reproductive technology. However, it is a costly and complicated procedure; so, other simpler and more affordable treatments should have been done before considering this technique.
Alongside the benefits that IVF brings to infertile couples, there are some drawbacks and risks associated with this procedure. At first, although there is no maximum age for IVF, the success rate decreases, and pregnancy complications increase with candidate age.
Do you know IVF costs in Iran? Read more here!
Moreover, it is proved that women who undergo IVF are more prone to multiple pregnancies which can be dangerous both for the mother and babies. Ectopic pregnancy, birth defects, and pelvic infection are among other side effects of IVF procedures.
Children born through IVF may be at higher risk of suffering high blood pressure in adulthood. However, all these side effects and the potential problem cannot be reasons to stop using IVF. By increasing their knowledge and seeking help from the best specialist, infertile couples can manage their stress and possible problems of getting pregnant with IVF.
Fertility treatment at Tebmedtourism Company (International healthcare facilitator):
TebMedTourism Company is an International healthcare facilitator based in Tehran, Iran.
We start our professional activity in medical tourism industry regarding the profound capability of Iran in both healthcare & touristic fields.
We are ready with open arms to provide desirable services to our dear patients & guests from all over the world to enjoy world-class treatment quality and highly skilled doctors in Iran.
TebMedTourism company is cooperating with more than 40 internationally certified hospitals, 140 selected local hospitals, 300 specialized medical centers, 430 doctors, 112 hotels, domestic and international airlines in Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz, Qom and other cities in Iran.
TebMedTourism team facilitates comprehensive medical & cosmetic packages in all medical & wellness & touristic fields aimed to achieve your desires.
TebMedTourism experienced team will make this procedure seamless and enjoyable from A to Z, so you will just focus on your recovery.