For the many patients who face the problem of infertility, in vitro fertilization offers the hope of a healthy pregnancy. IVF assists in the multiple stages of conception in order to increase the chances of pregnancy while addressing some of the most common causes of infertility. IVF results in the birth of thousands of babies in the United States each year. This treatment is one of the most popular and successful fertility treatments available. Before beginning treatment, fertility specialist Dr. Janelle Dorsett believes that her patients should be well-prepared for what to expect throughout treatment. She prepares her Lubbock patients for IVF side effects that are likely to be experienced as a result of treatment.
IVF is a multiple step procedure that aids in every step of the conception process. Because there are several steps involved, there are multiple times at which a woman may experience side effects of treatment. While the side effects will vary by patient, some of the general side effects that can be expected throughout different stages of treatment are as follows:
- Ovarian stimulation: IVF begins with the stimulation of the ovaries. This is achieved by the administration of fertility drugs, often through injection. Side effects of ovarian stimulation include headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and cramping. These side effects are typically mild and are generally well-tolerated by patients. When injections are used, additional side effects may include pain, rash, or irritation at the injection site.
- Egg retrieval: Once matured eggs have been produced, egg retrieval will occur. Anesthesia will be used in order to keep patients comfortable throughout this procedure. The use of anesthesia may result in side effects such as nausea and dizziness, both of which should subside within 24 hours as the medication wears off. It is also common for patients to experience mild cramping, bloating, or discomfort following the egg retrieval process. This may last for several days and prescribed pain medication can be used as directed to alleviate any discomfort.
- Embryo transfer: When retrieved eggs have been successfully fertilized, they will be transferred back to the uterus, where it will hopefully implant for a healthy pregnancy. Preparing for embryo transfer, the patient will likely continue the use of progesterone, in order to create the ideal environment for conception. This may result in side effects similar to those experienced during the ovarian stimulation stage of treatment, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and vaginal dryness. The embryo transfer is a procedure that does not require the use of anesthesia, so side effects will be minimal. However, it is common for patients to experience mild cramping. The ideal outcome of embryo transplantation is obviously pregnancy. It is important to note that multiple birth pregnancies are a common side effect of IVF. The greater number of embryos transferred, the higher the likelihood that multiple embryos will be accepted.
While there are several potential side effects of IVF treatment, most patients report that these are mild side effects that are easily tolerated. Furthermore, the chance of a successful pregnancy is considered, by most patients, a reward well worth the side effects experienced.
Schedule an Appointment
IVF is a successful fertility treatment that has allowed a great many patients to experience the joys of parenthood. If you have had trouble conceiving and would like to learn more about your fertility treatment options, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janelle Dorsett at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!