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Natalia Dankovich
Natalia Dankovich

Natalia Dankovich

Obstetrician-Gynecologist, director of "Neomed" clinic

Success, risks and complications in the course of IVF programmes

08.12.2010

In-vitro fertilisation procedures are not always a success. In average, about 30-40 cases out of 100 result in pregnancy, while only 24 percent of pregnancies out of 100 in-vitro fertilisation attempts lead to a child delivery. The world IVF practice demonstrates that delivery rate is always lower than pregnancy rate. This means that about 6 percent of successful pregnancies end in miscarriages.

Hormonal stimulation during an IVF procedure may cause side effects, such as: fever, hot flashes, fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, minor spotting, reddening of the injection area. More severe complications include multiple gestation or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

One of the peculiar features of IVF is incredibly high percentage of multiple gestation. To compare: natural conception accounts for one case of twins for 70-80 deliveries, one triplet for 9000 deliveries, and one quadruplet for 50 000 deliveries, while IVF results in multiple gestation, including twins, triplets and quadruplets in about 50percent of all pregnancies. However, fertility clinics are striving to reduce the number of such occurrences. At present, reproductologists have developed and widely practice removal (reduction) of “extra” foetuses (above two) under ultrasound control. Extra foetuses are not really removed, but a special solution is injected so that they stop developing and are gradually dissolved. This procedure is usually performed on the 7 to 11 week of pregnancy and is not generally associated with the risk of miscarriage of other foetuses. Very often extra foetuses are dissolved without any interventions.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Infertility treatment applying IVF might lead to such complication as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS). Most often OHS develops in its mild form. In some cases, however, especially in case of successful pregnancy, in-patient or even surgical treatment might be needed. There are even cases of lethal outcomes of OHS, but these are fortunately exceptionally rare occurrences.

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