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Therapy risks

Similar to any physical intervention the In Vitro fertilisation (IVF und ICSI) is also associated with risks. The goal of hormonal therapy is to grow many egg cells that must be taken out of the body by an operative intervention.

Over stimulation syndrome

In spite of ultrasonic and serum hormonal controlling, hyper stimulation is possible. A so-called over stimulation syndrome is associated with a significant growth of ovaries, lower belly pains as well as relatively high estrogens levels that lead to an increased vessel permeability and therefore an increased risk of thrombosis. These symptoms can be treated very well, and they disappear completely. The treatment can also be carried out on an inpatient basis. The focus is on the pain therapy, prevention of thrombosis and leaching out of excess tissue fluid. This can also last for many weeks, especially if pregnancy has begun. Its most severe manifestation occurs in < 1 % of the treatments.

Multiple pregnancy rates

In order to increase the chances for success of the IVF procedure, two, maximum of three embryos are usually transferred. Therefore the multiple pregnancy rate is increased against a normal multiple pregnancy rate. Of 100 births after IVF/ or ICSI there are:

  • 77,63% single pregnancies
  • 21,47% twins
  • 0,89 % triplets births (German IVF-Register 2006)

It can be compared with the frequency of 1,2 % of twins births and 0,013 % of triplets births in the case of natural conception. Multiple pregnancies are considered risk pregnancies, since they are associated with early labour pains, premature births and other problems. Triple pregnancies always end with a C-section.

Complications during egg cell retrieval

Complications during egg cell retrieval are described in about 1% of cases. They include:

  • Bleedings
  • After bleedings
  • Damage of blood vessels and neighbouring organs
  • Infections

If there are complications after an egg cell retrieval an inpatient stay may be needed, operative follow-up interventions are very rare (0,18%).