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What are the risks of assisted reproduction?

What are the risks of assisted reproduction?

Assisted reproduction is a quite modern method. After all, the first test-tube baby came into the world in 1978. It is then not surprising when potential mothers ask about risks associated with assisted reproduction; especially when influenced by many reports on the potential risks presented by media.

Is multiple pregnancy one of the risks?

Maybe you are one of those who already undergone several attempts to get pregnant with the help of assisted reproduction. During each process, more embryos are transferred to the body of potential mother to increase the chance of conception. As a result, it can happen that more than one of them implants. The probability of having twins as a result of assisted reproduction is about 15 %.

I'm sure you've noticed that doctors are trying to be successful using just a single embryo and they have many reasons for that. They argue that multiple pregnancies result in premature birth more often than in case of one baby. The infants then have very low birth weight. The good news is that a risk of birth defects in multiple pregnancy is almost the same as in the case of normal pregnancy. It affects about 3 % of the parents.

What about miscarriage?

Because of the stories we hear in media, it may seem that women who undergo assisted reproduction are more susceptible to miscarriage than those who become pregnant naturally. It is rather an image that was created than the reality. According to specialists, the number of women who miscarried after reproduction is comparable to the number of women who became pregnant spontaneously. It is necessary to include the fact that many women who visit centers for assisted reproduction are older and, as we know, higher the age, bigger the risk of miscarriage.

Genetic diseases

Sometimes it happens that a woman becomes pregnant and miscarries several times due to some birth defect in the fetus. Others have a fear that their child will inherit some of the genetic problems that occurred in their family. Both groups, however, do not need to worry. As a part of assisted reproduction, there is a test called preimplantation genetic diagnosis which screens the embryos and only e the healthy ones are transferred into the woman's body. In this case, artificial insemination is not a risk but can actually help.

Complications and treatment discontinuation

Sometimes hormones of a woman's body prevents the process of maturation of eggs and therapy must be discontinued. In other cases, no connection between the eggs and sperm happen and that cannot be unfortunately enforced. Moreover, assisted reproduction is a procedure like any other and complications can occur. It is important to undergo it in a good health condition.

 

SUMMARY

  • Multiple pregnancy is more risky (chance of miscarriage, premature labor, etc.)¬†
  • Number of miscarriages after assisted reproduction is not as high as generally believed
  • Complications can occur during assisted reproduction because it is a procedure like any other¬†
  • Health condition of a woman is important
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