In vitro fertilization basics part 29

Risks for the woman

  • Ectopic pregnancy

When an embryo implants in a Fallopian tube, the cervix or the abdoment, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can be dangerous  because the placenta can burrow into a blood vessel and cause major internal bleeding. We can usually detect an ectopic pregnancy by the level of hCG in pregnancy tests and an early ultrasound scan, but not always. Symptoms include severe, localised abdominal pain.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 28

Risks for the woman

  • Uterine infection after embryo transfer

Uterine infection after embryo transfer occurs in about 1 in 300 transfers. The symptoms are feeling sore or unwell, or a fever . Infection usually settles with antibiotics. There have been cases of damage to the uterus or Fallopian tubes, but this is very rare. Infection  is likely to reduce the chance of pregnancy.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 27

Risks for the woman

  • Vaso-vagal reaction

There is a small chance of a vaso-vagal reaction at the time of embryo transfer. This is  an involutary reflex that causes the heart  to slow, blood pressure to drop, and fainting. The embryo transfer is usually stopped and done at a later time.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 26

Risks for woman

  • Internal bleeding after egg collection

Puncture of a large blood vessel in the abdomen during egg collection occurs in about 1 in 1000 procedures. This would cause severe pain, and would usually occur before you went home. Another symptom of internal bleeding can be shoulder-tip pain caused by blood irritating the diaphragm.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 25

Risks for woman

  • Vaginal bleeding after egg collection

Vaginal bleeding of more than 100 ml (half a cup) occurs in about 1 in 100 egg collections, but usually settles quickly

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In vitro fertilization basics part 24

Risks for the woman

  • Pelvic infection after egg collection

Pelvic infection can occur when the egg collection needle carries bacteria from the vagina or the bowel into the abdomen, or transfers bacteria from a damaged Fallopian tube into the abdomen. Infection occurs in about 1 in 500 cycles. The chance of infection can be reduced by giving antibiotics after egg collection if the needle punctures a damaged Fallopian tube, the bowel or an endometriotic cyst.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 23

Risks for the woman

  • Respiratory depression

The medications used for egg collection can reduce the amount of air you breathe and thus the oxygen in your blood. They monitor your oxygen level during and after egg collection with a pulse oximeter. If your oxygen level falls too low, the doctor will stop collecting eggs and give oxygen. Very rarely you may require emergency drugs. Brain damage and death are theoritically possible, but so rare that no figures are available for in vitro fertilization.

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In vitro fertilization basics part 22

Common side effects

  • There are a small chance of bleeding from the cervix after embryo transfer, on the day of transfer or the next day. This is not believed to affect the chance of pregnancy
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In vitro fertilization basics part 21

Common side effects

  • Mild abdominal discomfort or bloating from the medications used to stimulate the ovaries, sometimes before but mainly after egg collection.
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In vitro fertilization basics part 20

Common side effects

  • Sore ovaries for one or two days after egg collection
  • Nausea and not remembering the procedure are common side effects of the sedative and narcotic medications used during egg collection.
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