Health & Fitness

Ivf Complications and High Doses of Hormones

Many women depend on vitro fertilization method in the hope of getting pregnant. But many times they are not aware of the fact that the high hormone doses in the process can cause many side effects that not only affect them but also their babies.

Since the successful introduction and implementation of vitro fertilization method in 1978, many women have taken advantage of it when other procedures of fertility have not been successful. It is a fact that IVF has developed as a hope for many women who are childless. But, the method doesn’t come without its own set of side effects. This is true especially in situations where high hormone does are used in the procedure.

One egg is released from the ovaries in each cycle normally. The ovaries are accelerated by hormones to produce more eggs in each cycle in vitro fertilization procedure. In the procedure, number of eggs released depends on the dose of hormones used. While stimulation of ovaries by low hormone dose causes the production of about ten eggs in a cycle, this number may also go up to 30 eggs with the increase in the doses of hormones. Fertility clinics that are in favor of using high hormone doses say that the increased number of eggs generated per cycle increases the rate of success of the procedure. Since the treatment is a bit expensive, it is better if the woman conceives within one or two chances of treatment.

With the increasing number of fertility clinics, the competition level is also increasing. Fertility clinics like to promote about their success rates. So, they normally go for high doses of hormones for stimulating ovaries. But, when these clinics promote about their rates of success, they forget to talk about the large number of patients who experience side effects from these high hormone doses.

According to the statistics given by the National Institutes of Health, stimulating ovaries by high hormone doses can cause the development of a condition known as OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) in approximately ten percent of patients who go through IVF treatment. The condition is distinguished by fluid collection in the ovaries, which may gradually leak into abdominal and chest cavities. The condition can be life threatening sometimes in some patients. Recently, a study found that this condition is the main cause of maternal deaths in women who went through IVF in England. Another study says that there is a connection between IVF high doses with lower birth weights in babies.

Besides developing OHSS, many other side effects IVF high doses can be associated to Lupron. This medicine is used to restrain the ovaries before their stimulation with hormones like the Luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. Though Lupron is commonly used, you would be amazed to know that this medicine is not approved by FDA for using in IVF. The drug has been linked with harmful effects such as joint aches, bone and muscle loss, pain in bones, and liver disorders and also memory loss in some cases.

IVF also has a risk of multiple pregnancies as more than one embryo is placed into the uterus for successful implantation. There are other risks with multiple pregnancies like early labor and low birth weight. Other risks involved with this treatment are ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and bleeding during first trimester.

During the actual procedure of egg retrieval, complications may arise. These might be rate, but women should know them. Risks may include infection, bleeding, internal damage like bladder, blood vessels and bowel. There are other complications as well, if you are undergoing general anesthesia.

It is important for the couples to discuss the risks with a specialist in this field, before undergoing the procedure of IVF. Don’t hesitate to talk with the specialist, inform her or him about any medical histories that you have in your family. This is very important to recognize some increased risks with some procedures, allowing patients go through other treatments that may be beneficial.

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