General Health

IVF complications and birth defects | Updated 2023

IVF is definitely a marvel of medical science and technology, as moving fertilization from the human body to a laboratory has redefined Mother Nature’s laws of reproduction. While IVF has brought the joy of parenthood to many disadvantaged couples, every victory comes with a few complications. In this article, we discuss the IVF complications and birth defects that, although rare, can occur.

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Complications of IVF

  1. Multiple births are the main complication of IVF. This is because to increase the chances of success, more than one embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus. Multiple births can increase the risk of other complications such as preterm birth, neonatal death, obstetric complications, and lower birth weight.
  2. In women, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can occur when hCG is used to stimulate ovarian follicle maturation. It causes abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting due to swelling of the ovaries. It can be treated with medication.
  3. There is a small risk of infection and damage to surrounding areas in the bowl and bladder when eggs are removed with a needle.
  4. In certain rare cases, the fertilized egg can grow outside the uterus in the fallopian tubes. The condition is known as an ectopic or ectopic pregnancy and requires an immediate abortion.
  5. Emotional and psychological problems – When the stakes are high, stress increases. This is basic human nature. Therefore, women during IVF usually experience a range of emotional-psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. You can discuss coping strategies with your counselor to overcome stress.
  6. Preterm birth, caesarean section, maternal bleeding, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure can occur.
  7. Rest assured – IVF does not make you susceptible to cervical, ovarian, endometrial, or breast cancer.

Birth defects through IVF

Millions of women turn to IVF to conceive and complete their families. IVF complications and birth defects can occur, but the incidence is not alarming compared to babies conceived naturally.

In the general population, the risk of birth defects in a child born through IVF is only 2-3%.

The use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), particularly in male offspring, can cause congenital sex-chromosomal abnormalities such as: B. improper development of the penis or sperm. Other common birth defects observed in babies born through IVF are cerebral palsy, which interferes with the normal development of infants’ motor and physical development; Cleft lip, heart defect or hip dysplasia. Research studies are being conducted to monitor the long-term health of babies born through IVF. The excessive doses of hormones during the IVF procedure create risks of birth defects. Maternal age and causes of infertility also play a greater role in the development of birth defects.

To reiterate what has been said before, the likelihood of complications and birth defects is not a cause for concern for those undergoing IVF treatment as they can also occur with natural births. With advances in medical science technology, the incidence of such cases has decreased. IVF born babies are just as healthy and happy as those who conceive naturally. You can discuss your concerns and doubts with an IVF specialist or consultant.

Read more about IVF precautions to enhance success


credibleCredihealth is India’s leading medical support company and has helped more than 10,000 couples seeking IVF treatment. Credihealth helps people find the right IVF specialist, trustworthy hospitals, book priority appointments and get estimated treatment costs.

A team of medical experts speak to the couples, understand their symptoms and medical condition, and support them throughout their IVF treatment.

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