What are the Side Effects of IVF?

IVF – in vitro fertilisation – is an advanced fertility treatment that helps couples overcome their fertility issues and increase their chances of conceiving. Being able to raise a child is a wonderful experience, but some couples will need further assistance with their goals.

With IVF there are a number of side effects to be aware of, as well as the potential risks that can cause complications. However for the most part these are manageable and can be discussed with your clinician.

Here are some of the possible side effects to be aware of when going through IVF.

Common side effects

Through one way or another there is going to be a certain amount of discomfort when undergoing the procedure. Cramps and bloating are common side effects to crop up after going through fertility treatment, as the treatment aims to reach a woman’s eggs within the body.

There may be some coloured or clear discharge not long after the procedure has been completed. This is also common in women in the very early stages of pregnancy. There will of course also be general abdominal pain and the potential for constipation.

Aside from these side effects there is also a chance of hot flashes, mood swings and feeling irritable. What’s important to remember is that these reactions are normal and you shouldn’t feel too pressured by them, should they happen to you.

Potentially serious side effects

There are of course less likely side effects that can cause potential complications, or can subside in their own time. Blood in your urine, increased pain and heavy vaginal bleeding are some reasons to feel concerned. You should discuss with your GP if you have any of these major side effects at your earliest convenience.

There are of course other risks to be aware of which will be discussed at length with you before and during an IVF procedure. Ectopic pregnancy is one of these risks, which is where the embryo implants into a fallopian tube instead of in the womb. This will be checked during pregnancy scans.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a rare condition that can occur during IVF and can happen in the early stages of conception. This is when too many eggs are developed at once which grow to be very painful.

Any further concerns you will have can be discussed during a consultation and subsequent meetings with doctors and fertility specialised on an individual basis. This will keep you at ease throughout your fertility journey.

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