Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
Nowadays, IVF is a completely safe procedure for the patient. As I always say, and I love this example, IVF is what an egg donor does. If we had any evidence that this procedure may increase any risk later in her life, it would be very controverted from the ethical point of view to stimulate these young girls to obtain the eggs.
In regard to the treatment itself, of course, anytime you do anything, there are some risks, but if you manage the case properly, these risks are very low. The main risk that you can have when you’re doing IVF are: having a haemorrhage, at the moment of the egg collection, which is a very low risk, it’s 0.1%. If you transfer more than 1 embryo, you may have a slightly higher risk of ectopic pregnancy because 1 of the embryos may travel through the tubes and may implant there, but also, the risk is very low.
One of the things that happen is hyperstimulation syndrome, which is very strange and quite a common situation nowadays. We have a lot of different tools to identify which patients may develop this problem. It basically is an exaggerated response of the ovaries producing hormones. Since this syndrome is related to the existence of the hCG in the body of the woman, you can trigger the ovulation with a different drug, freeze all the embryos.
I am proud to say that in our clinic, in the last 6-7 years, we did not have a single case of hyperstimulation syndrome despite being able to collect 20-30 eggs from a single patient sometimes. The risks are basically related to the effective management of the treatment. If you identify the risks, if you make the proper decisions, the risk should be close to zero.
Is there any risk connected with an IVF treatment?
Many couples with fertility problems have concerns and are worried that IVF can be risky and dangerous to the baby, as well as the mother. The truth is that some risks can be reduced, while some are increased. So, does IVF carry any risks? Is it safe? What does the new research say about it?