Is there a risk of complications?
Every medical procedure, apart from its positive results, may sometimes have undesirable side effects or complications.
Let us examine in particular the procedures applied in Assisted Reproductive In Vitro Fertilisation.
- Administering drugs through subcutaneous injections or nasal spray does not carry any risks for the woman’s health.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is a complication where the increase in ovary size is accompanied by overproduction of ovarian hormones and vasoactive substances, which results in increased vascular permeability. Its symptoms are distending of the abdominal region (swelling) and pain in the lower abdomen. The syndrome usually subsides on its own and, in rare cases, the woman needs to be monitored at the clinic. In recent years, however, the syndrome likelihood has been reduced or even eliminated, thanks to selecting the appropriate stimulation protocol, namely through selecting a GnRH-agonist for ovulation induction or freezing all embryos (freeze-all) in high risk cases. In the latter case, the embryo transfer can be performed the month after the stimulation.
- During ovum collection, which is an invasive micro-procedure under anaesthesia, there may be complications, such as aspiration of gastric content, if the stomach is not empty, mild haemorrhage, etc. These complication, however, are immediately apparent and can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
- There is a likelihood of twin (16%-18%) or multiple gestation (3%-4%), which is limited with the placement of up to 3 embryos in the womb.
- Following IVF, there is a slightly higher likelihood of ectopic pregnancy than in a normal pregnancy, but the causes for this are not known. Such a pregnancy, however, is detected early thanks to the close monitoring of women following assisted reproduction, and it is managed at its initial stage.
- The rates of miscarriage are slightly increased (12% - 15%) as compared to normal pregnancies (8% - 10%), and this may be due to the slightly higher average age of women needing IVF treatment.
Can a woman conceive naturally following IVF treatment?
It is possible, and has been observed several times following IVF.
Are multiple attempts harmless?
It is a myth that multiple attempts affect a woman’s health. Data so far show that the methods of assisted reproduction and the pharmaceutical treatments administered do not increase risks to the health of the woman, especially risks of carcinogenesis. On the other hand, not having children due to infertility is a risk factor for certain forms of cancer in women.
Our many years of experience in IVF and current available scientific data indicate that no matter how many times a woman undergoes IVF treatment, she faces the same dangers with a woman who is trying to conceive a baby normally. Therefore, in theory, several attempts can be made without concern and several pregnancies have correspondingly been recorded.
- IVF is a painless medical procedure.
- Our Centre applies all methods of assisted reproduction with high success rates.
- Of all those attempting 70% will become parents at the end of this journey.
Are children born through IVF healthy?
Studies on the millions of children who have been born through IVF to date have found that they do not present higher rates of congenital abnormalities as compared to children born naturally by sub-fertile parents.
How will I decide to contact the Centre for Assisted Reproduction?
On the one hand, the increasing frequency of the problem, and, on the other, the spectacular progress achieved as regards treatment, several years after the birth of the first IVF baby, have changed the way we all face conception difficulties.
Indeed, realistically approaching such an important matter, without anti-scientific taboos, phobias, and obsessing over obsolete views, can only have a positive effect on sub-fertile couples at the crucial moment when they decide to bring a child into this world.
At such a time, when two partners who wish to start a family decide to recognise the problem and deal with it with the help of specialists, it is important that they be free from prejudices, guilt and pointless stress that will only hinder their efforts. In either case, in the framework of a methodical approach and an analytic diagnostic check, the task of our OBGYN and human reproduction specialists is to alleviate the psychological strain by providing appropriate, reliable information. A landscape that may often seem bleak, can be filled with light when information is provided responsibly, succinctly and clearly:
- subfertility concerns the couple rather than separate individuals. The two partners are called upon to face the situation together, in the context of an intimate relationship of mutual support.
- In Greece there are approximately 250,000 subfertile couples. Those of you who have not yet experienced the joy of parenthood should not feel singled out or alone.
- Modern medicine offers a range of solutions, a very wide spectrum of treatment with excellent results. Of all those attempting 70% will become parents at the end of this journey.
- The sooner, the better! Let time be our ally in the efforts to achieve conception, as we should not needlessly put off treatment, particularly when the woman is nearing the end of her reproductive age.
- The treatments available, at the hands of specialists, are particularly effective and completely safe for the prospective mother and the newborn baby,
- We are at the forefront of global research and medical advancements in Human Reproduction, and our Centre provides top quality services.
Understanding specific, scientifically documented principles, such as the ones mentioned above, decisively contributes towards breaking the vicious circle of stress that often dominates the lives of sub-fertile couples. Thisis of particularimportance, because:
- Stress may lead to conception difficulties (through hormonal disorders and burdening the normal reproductive cycle), while
- subfertility, inevitably, increases the psychological strain being such as stressful factor.
So it is worthwhile for the infertile couple to consciously, optimistically and with faith in the final result make the first step, since by asking for our help and guidance you can realistically aim at and achieve the final goal: Experiencing the unique joy of parenthood!