IVF – What to Expect

[1]The medications you will be taking to stimulate egg growth have been proven safe for use; however, there are some possible side effects of which you need to know.

These side effects may include:

  1. Ovarian Hyperstimulation
    The ovaries become too stimulated and can become very large with cysts. In severe cases, fluid collects in the abdomen and lungs, blood clotting problems may occur, fluid and electrolyte imbalances can occur and rarely, life-threatening complications may ensue. Deaths have occurred with severe hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Your procedure may be canceled if the risk for hyperstimulation is high. Ovarian hyperstimulation may require hospitalization. Severe hyperstimulation occurs in less than 1% of cases.
  2. Ovarian Torsion
    The ovary twists around its blood supply causing a decrease in blood flow. This is rare (less than 1% of all assisted reproduction procedures), but if it occurs, it may require surgical removal of the affected ovary.
  3. Multiple Gestation
    Multiple gestations (twins, triplets, quadruplets) are a risk with this procedure, occurring about 25% of the time. Most of these multiple gestations are twins. As with any multiple gestation, there is an increased chance of preterm birth. Some of the major problems associated with preterm birth may include respiratory distress, brain hemorrhage, and nervous system problems such as blindness and cerebral palsy. It is your decision in consult with your physician as to how many embryos are returned to the uterus. If a multiple pregnancy does happen, the option of selective fetal reduction is available.
  4. Egg Retrieval/Laparoscopy Risks
    If you have a transvaginal egg retrieval or embryo transfer, the risks are very low (about 3 in 1,000) and may include: injury to the intestines, blood vessels, bladder, infection and bleeding. In the unlikely event of physical injury resulting from your participation in this procedure, it is important to understand that the costs of such treatment will be at your own expense and that financial compensation from your insurance carrier may not be available.
  5. Ectopic Pregnancy
    The risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is slightly higher than in natural pregnancy, approximately 2-5%.
  6. Ultrasound
    Ultrasound has been used in obstetrics and gynecology for many years with no cases of fetal abnormalities or maternal complications directly related to its use.
  7. Ovarian Cancer
    Some studies have suggested a possible increased risk of ovarian cancer. No definitive proof of this is known.

It is hoped that your IVF procedure will increase your chance of pregnancy.

Alternative treatments, including other assisted reproductive procedures such as Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT), ovulation stimulation with intrauterine insemination (IUI), no treatment, and adoption may be available.

Recovery Time
The expected recovery time for IVF is 48 hours of minimal activity.

Signing of Consent Forms
The consent forms set forth must be executed before you begin your first IVF treatment. Your joint consent will be binding in the future, even though your personal circumstances may change.

Financial Obligations
You are responsible for all expenses related to your IVF procedure regardless of possible insurance coverage. Courtesy billing may be done on your behalf with your insurance carrier. Please check with them to verify your individual benefits.

An Introduction to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF Pre-Procedure Month

Male Testing


IVF Medications

Egg Retrieval Process

How Many Eggs to Choose for an IVF Procedure

Embryo Transfer Procedure

IVF Success Rates