In Vitro Fertilization Risks


The risks of in vitro fertilization are examined, specifically a new study that assesses the risks of ovarian cancer from in vitro fertilization (IVF), specifically the concern of it increasing caused by the hormone drugs used. The findings state that they do not put themselves at a higher than usual risk of cancer. And in fact it was found the risk for cancer was actually 25% lower.

In Vitro Fertilization Risks

I am the first one to speak of the great benefits of IVF, and many of the fertility procedures that have been developed have literally changed the landscape of society. Where once there was only despair and blank stares, there is now hope and a possibility of parenthood. For those of you who’ve had to deal with the issues of infertility, you know of what I speak. Imagine now if there literally was no help, no way, no hope of anything being done to help you achieve your goal of being a mother and a father? I can imagine it would be devastating. So yes these procedures’ are wonderful and open doors that couldn’t be opened without them.

Having said that we cannot hide from some of the potential risks involved with IVF. They are in comparison small risks but they are risks nonetheless. The main risks from IVF are ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, multiple pregnancy, & ovarian cancer (well below I will explain how this has been debunked as more circumstantial than from causation. 

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: The use of fertility drugs to induce ovulation can cause what is known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome – is where your ovaries become swollen and painful. The symptoms and signs include mild abdominal pain, bloating, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and usually only last a week. But if you become pregnant these symptoms can possibly last several weeks. Using a laparoscopy for the egg retrieval come with the risks typically associated with receiving anesthesia. As well and with similar small procedures there is always a slight risk of infection, bleeding, and damage to the bowl, bladder, or blood vessel. Again these risks are fairly small and the egg retrieval is getting better every day.

Multiple pregnancies: To increase the chance of success while doing IVF they implant multiple embryo’s into your uterus. Because of these multiple pregnancies you will carry a greater risk of early labor and lower birth weight than those from single pregnancies.

Ovarian cancer & gynecological cancer: There is a new study (found at that found the fertility treatments involved with IVF does not increase their risk of cancer according to a U.S. study. The findings you’ve heard about was merely that the person who at some time in their life has taken a particular medication such as an ovulation inducing medication. In fact they found the cancer rates 25% lower than the average; which doesn’t mean there is now a conclusion that it decreases cancer. Bottom line is there are studies that show there is no increased risk of cancer for those doing IVF.

Alright now you know, now you know the risks that are associated with in vitro fertilization. As in life there are always risks, there are risks involved with Tylenol in your bathroom. So risks associated with a procedure like this are par for the course, but as a general rule the risks are pretty minimal and usually very treatable if they do occur. The advances in IVF and the availability of egg donors have been phenomenal and will only get better, allowing more and more people to realize the ability to have a child of their very own.


Clay Hunter is a freelance writer who has special interest in infertility as him and much of his family has struggled with it for years. He hopes to shed light on the issues that affect so many of those suffering from infertility.