Minimizing the Risks of IVF
As with any medical procedure, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has associated risks, including those caused by the necessary medications and the possibility of multiple births. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we strive to provide our patients with exceptionally safe care and a positive experience. As such, we have invested in the newest equipment and adhere to the highest standards to minimize IVF risks. Additionally, we rely on open and honest communication to help you understand the risk because by acknowledging and understand the risks, we are best able to avoid them. Drs. Marc Kalan and Nurit Winkler are dedicated to helping you achieve a healthy pregnancy at our Los Angeles, CA, practice while protecting your health and safety.
Side Effects of Medications
With most medications, it is normal to experience some side effects. Those commonly reported with fertility medications include:
- Hot flashes
However, if you experience shortness of breath, severe abdominal pains, or other concerning symptoms, you should notify us as soon as possible.
While the likelihood of these instances occurring is fairly low, risks associated with IVF include:
- Multiple Births
- According to a study conducted from 1998 to 2011, 17 percent of twin births in the U.S. could be attributed to IVF. Multiple births more frequently resulted from IVF treatment in the 1990s, and this risk has been minimized over the years with adjustments to treatment methods. At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, the risk of multiple births is relatively low because we commonly transfer a single embryo at a time.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
- OHSS is a side effect that can occur in women who are sensitive to fertility medications, and have an above average egg supply in their ovaries. OHSS occurs 1-4 days after egg retrieval and is characterized by significant bloating discomfort, nausea and dehydration. The incidence of severe OHSS is very rare, affecting only 1.1 percent of cycles. Further, at LARC, OHSS has been limited even further in recent years due to a modification in medication. At this point it’s occurrence is quite rare.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- An ectopic pregnancy refers to a situation in which a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. This most commonly occurs in the fallopian tube. There are certain factors that can increase your risk of an ectopic pregnancy, including a history of pelvic inflammatory disease and tubal factor infertility. Overall, ectopic pregnancies only occur slightly more commonly with IVF than traditional pregnancies.
Every patient should be aware of – and thoroughly understand – the risks associated with undergoing IVF. Our team is happy to answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have before deciding to pursue treatment and throughout the process.
Signs of Complications
Abnormal side effects may include:
- Fever over 100.5˚ Fahrenheit
- Pelvic pain
- Blood in the urine
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
These symptoms may indicate a complication with your procedure, so you should contact us immediately. We can conduct an evaluation and determine the best precautions or treatment to protect your health.
While we recognize the potential for complications to arise, for the vast majority of patients, the benefits of IVF far outweigh the risks.
How We Protect You
role in minimizing risks associated with IVF.
At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we strive to provide safe and effective fertility treatments. We take several steps to minimize the risks our patients face, such as:
- Practice clear communication
- Consistently monitor your progress
- Address any issues early on
- Only use the amount of medication that is absolutely necessary
- Follow the very highest medical standards
- Use state-of-the-art technology
Every IVF treatment is personalized to your needs and considers your unique risk factors. Additionally, all of our staff is highly qualified to oversee your care. Not only are Drs. Kalan and Winkler board-certified but our nurses are also extensively trained. We believe that patient education is essential. Most importantly, our team will focus on teaching you how to use your medication properly and how to recognize common warning signs of complications.
Your Safety Is Our Priority
While there is some potential for complications to arise, we firmly believe that for many patients, the benefits of IVF far outweigh the risks. If you are considering treatment with IVF, LARC can provide leading fertility care to help you start or grow your family. Contact us online or call us at (805) 427-2959 to schedule your consultation and learn more about the benefits and risks of IVF.