There are risks associated with IVF/ISCI however in general embryo freezing lowers these risks.
Ovarian Hyper Simulation Syndrome (OHSS)
Ovarian hyper stimulation is a rare complication of IVF treatment and occurs when ovaries get over stimulated, It is a serious, but rare, complication of IVF. OHSS is usually mild or moderate and the symptoms are self-limiting but in around 3 to 4% of cases, symptoms may become severe and may require hospitalisation.
To avoid OHSS we may use a trigger injection called Supercur, which significantly reduces the chances of OHSS. This is our preferred option and we use it in our frozen embryos treatment packages
Some cases of OHSS may not still be predictable. Therefore, all women are advised to look out for symptoms following egg collection and embryo transfer.
Although there are a number of tests to predict the ovarian response, in some cases the ovaries fail to respond adequately to stimulation, resulting in acquiring less than 3 eggs during collection.
An inadequate response indicates a decreased ovarian reserve. Sometimes altering the dosage of FSH does not change the response of the ovaries
The number of eggs retrieved at egg collection can be predicted through monitoring ultrasound scans. Occasionally no eggs are collected despite a satisfactory ultrasound scan. It is possible that the follicle may be empty, resulting in no egg being obtained during the operation.
Though rare, we are often able to warn you before you start the treatment that there is a poor prognostic sign, indicating a problem with poor egg quality. We can then discuss different options, which include an egg donor to achieve pregnancy.
Failure to Fertilise and Cleave
Sometimes eggs may not get fertilised of may stop growing.
Multiple pregnancies, including twins and triplets in particular, are associated risks such as increased chance of miscarriage, premature delivery (and associated infant problems). Some women may be advised to consider selective termination to improve their chances of having at least one healthy child at the end of the pregnancy.
Whilst most multiple pregnancies that result from fertility treatment involve the development of a baby from different embryos (non-identical twins), it is still possible to have a single embryo split to form identical twins (or rarely triplets). The chance of this happening is higher in older women having treatment.
We recommend visiting HFEA for more information on multiple pregnancies.
Ectopic Pregnancy & Miscarriage
Up to 5% of IVF/ICSI pregnancies may be ectopic (pregnancy outside the womb) and about 10-12% of pregnancies may result in a miscarriage. Everyone is unique and may have different risks associated with pregnancy depending on their personal medical history.
IVF does not increase the risk of a miscarriage when compared with natural conception.
ICSI was introduced in 1992 thousands of healthy children have been born however it is not known if there are any long-term consequences for children conceived by ICSI.