Pros and Cons of IVF
Dr Chaithra S K
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Aug 23, 2017
The pros of IVF are:
. There is no link to cancer: According to older studies, the risk of ovarian cancer or other cancers of the female reproductive system were higher because of the exposure to fertility drugs. However according to the recent studies, there is no connection between ovulation-inducing fertility drugs and cancer.
2. IVF has improved techniques: Refined and improved IVF procedures are continuously been researched by Researchers. For example, advances in embryo cryopreservation (freezing) have resulted in IVF pregnancy rates that are about the same for frozen and fresh embryos.
3. IVF has successful track record: Since the birth of first IVF baby in 1978, extended health studies have been done by the researchers on children conceived through IVF and so far, no medical problems have been directly linked to the procedure.
4. IVF is safe and is a boon to many childless couple who otherwise would have not conceived by simple methods like IUI or natural methods.
The cons of IVF are:
1. IVF is costly and time-consuming: Costly lab work and medications are required for fertilizing your eggs outside your body. Frequent trips for blood tests and ultrasounds is required to the doctor's office for monitoring your response to fertility drugs.
2. IVF has a risk of ectopic pregnancy: When an embryo implants in a fallopian tube or the abdominal cavity rather than in the uterus, an ectopic pregnancy occurs. Risk of ectopic pregnancy increases in women who have difficulty in getting pregnant, regardless of how they conceive. All assisted reproductive technology treatments, including IVF, also make an ectopic pregnancy more likely. However with careful monitoring, this could be diagnosed early and treated safely.
3. Chance of multiple children is high: The chance of having twins or more is about 20% in IVF because more than one embryo may be placed in your uterus. Risk of miscarriage and other complications like preterm labor, low birth weight, risk of maternal hypertension, gestational diabetes is increased because of multiple pregnancy. Some doctors will advise you to consider selective reduction. This is a serious decision with major emotional and psychological consequences.
4. Risk of OHSS - ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome: When women respond too well to fertility drugs and produce too many eggs, that is when OHSS can happen. About 10% to 20% of women who take gonadotropins develop a mild form of OHSS, a condition marked by weight gain and a full, bloated feeling. Some women also feel dizziness, pelvic pain, nausea, and vomiting and shortness of breath. Your ovaries swell to several times the normal size and produce fluid that accumulates in your abdominal cavity, if you have OHSS. With careful monitoring by a physician and bed rest, this can be resolved. However in rare cases, it is life threatening, and you may have to be hospitalized for more intensive monitoring.
5. IVF may not work: In spite of huge advancements in ART techniques, the success rates of ART is in the range of 40 to 50% mainly due to implantation failures. Hence IVF may not work for all, thereby causing huge emotional, financial and psychological stress.