Some infertility treatments can cause complications, including side effects from medication, multiple pregnancy and stress.
Some medications used to treat infertility can cause side effects. These may include:
For a full list of possible side effects, please see the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication, or read our medicines information page.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a rare complication of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) . It occurs in women who are very sensitive to the fertility drugs taken to increase egg production. Too many eggs develop in the ovaries, which become very large and painful.
OHSS is more common in women under 30 and in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) . OHSS generally develops in the week after egg collection.
The symptoms of OHSS are pain and bloating low down in your tummy (abdomen), nausea or vomiting. Severe cases can be dangerous. Contact your clinic if you have any of these symptoms.
You may need to go to hospital, so your condition can be monitored and treated by healthcare professionals.
If you have IVF, you have a slightly higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy , where the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes rather than in the womb.
If you have a positive pregnancy test, you'll have a scan at six weeks to make sure the embryo is growing properly and that the pregnancy is normal.
Tell your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding or stomach pain after having IVF and a positive pregnancy test.
The procedure to extract an egg from an ovary may result in a painful infection developing in your pelvis. However, the risk of serious infectionis very low. For example, there is likely to be less than one serious infection for every 500 procedures performed.
If more than one embryo is replaced in the womb as part of IVF treatment, there's an increased chance of producing twins or triplets.
Having more than one baby may not seem like a bad thing, but it significantly increases the risk of complications for you and your babies. These include:
The 2013 NICE fertility guidelines recommend that double embryo transfers should only be considered during treatment in women aged 40-42. Younger women should only be considered for a double embryo transfer if there are no top-quality embryos.
It may be helpful to join a support group, where you can talk through your feelings with others experiencing similar problems.
Finding out you have a fertility problem can be traumatic, and many couples findit helpful to talk to a counsellor . They can discuss treatment options, how they may affect you and the emotional implications. Your GP should be able to refer you to a counsellor as part of your fertility treatment.
Infertility is when a couple cannot conceive (get pregnant) despite having regular unprotected sex.
Infertility can be caused by many different things. For 25% of couples, a cause cannot be identified.
Around 84% of couples conceive naturally within one year of having regular (every two to three days) unprotected sexual intercourse. You should visit your GP if you have not conceived after one year of trying.
The treatment you are offered will depend on what is causing your fertility problems and what is available from your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
Some infertility treatments can cause complications including side effects of medication, multiple pregnancy and stress.
For some, adopting a healthier lifestyle through simple lifestyle changes or staying up to date with regular health checks and tests, may help to prevent infertility.