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Risks of In-Vitro Fertilization


Although in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a safe medical procedure, IVF does have risks and these risks need to be understood before attempting in-vitro treatment.

IVF cycle non-response

Some women will begin their IVF treatment cycle but will not respond to the hormonal medications.

They will either not form eggs or form a very limited number of eggs. These women are considered non-responders (no eggs were formed) and will have decreased success with IVF treatment.

Cycle cancellation

Some IVF cycles will be canceled or terminated early because of non-response or too much ovarian response.

This means after injections of hormonal medications, the in-vitro cycle will be stopped and egg retrieval will not occur. This will happen either because the patient is a non-responder (no eggs were formed) or because too many eggs were formed (this increases the chance of high-order multiple pregnancies).

A condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) can occur from too much ovarian stimulation during IVF.

Ovarian hyperstimulation is a serious complication of IVF treatment.

IVF and multiple gestation

IVF has an increased risk of twins and high-order multiple pregnancies (triplets or greater).

High-order multiple gestations are at an increased risk of preterm delivery. Approximately 30-50% of multiple gestations will be delivered prematurely and may suffer the risk of prematurity. As a result, IVF pregnancies with twins or higher are considered high-risk pregnancies.

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Embryo reduction

If a woman becomes pregnant with a high-order multiple gestation, then the pregnancy is at higher risk of complication. If higher-order multiple gestation occurs, the woman will have to consider whether to have an embryo reduction procedure. This procedure causes demise of one or more of the early fetuses so the remaining fetuses have a better chance of survival and being delivered at full term.

Ethical dilemmas and additional IVF costs

Some women will have multiple eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle. Many of these eggs may fertilize but not all of them will be placed in the uterus.

The remaining fertilized eggs must either be discarded or frozen.

If they are frozen the patient has to pay for the yearly additional IVF cost of freezing the eggs and if they are not used in the future they either must be discarded or donated.

IVF and risk of cancer

This is a controversial subject but many believe the exposure to high doses of hormonal medication may increase the risk of future development of cancers of the breast and female reproductive system.

Recent studies suggest a higher risk of ovarian cancer in women who have undergone IVF treatments.

Emotional stress

IVF can exert a tremendous amount of emotional stress on both the patient and her partner. The high doses of injected hormones can cause extreme mood fluctuations and emotional instability in some women.

The high monetary cost of the procedure and desire to produce a child adds to the stress of the process. If patients start the IVF process and are discovered to be non-responders or have a cycle cancellation, this can be difficult for some to deal with. Should a high-order multiple gestation pregnancy occur, patients may have the difficult choice of whether or not to undergo embryo reduction.

Pressure to be successful

Many patients have to pay directly for most, if not all, of the cost of IVF.

As a result, there is an increased amount of pressure to be become pregnant with every attempted IVF cycle.

Patients will often judge the quality of an IVF doctor by the doctor’s pregnancy success rate.

The pressure to be successful sometimes can cause patients to pressure their doctors to insert more than the recommended number of fertilized eggs into the uterus.

The IVF doctors also feel pressure to maintain a high pregnancy success rate, both for their patients and for the advertisement of their practice. This leads to transfer of multiple embryos, which is often the cause of multiple gestation.

Meet Dr. Monteith

As a surgeon my reputation & integrity are extremely important to me. I’ve been providing new choices & new beginnings since 2008. I’ve had the distinct privilege of being the first surgeon in the world to report successful pregnancy within the peer reviewed medical literature after reversal of transcervical hysteroscopic tubal sterilization. Permanent is not forever at my practice! HAVE QUESTIONS?

What Our Patients Are Saying

“We had our surgery on 3/18/15 and on 02/02/16 our 7 pound 11 oz baby girl was born! I’m 34 years old and had tubal ligation done via clamps 8 years prior so this surgery really does work! 8 years later I had the reversal and 9 years later we were blessed with our little girl! So many doctors tried to talk us out of it-wanted us to do IVF to get our money-however praise God we went with this because it does WORK! Dr M is amazing and his staff! The area is beautiful where his office is, and if you do this procedure it will be the best money you ever spend!”

– Charlee-Belle M., Surgery

“From the very first phone call, the staff at A Personal Choice has been amazing! They have answered our numerous questions, concerns and have been amazing. They never give you false hope, but give you the complete story. I am so happy that we chose Dr. Monteith and his staff to make our dreams a reality. Can’t wait to start trying to have a baby. I would and have recommended Dr. Monteith to ANYONE wanting a tubal ligation or vasectomy reversal. Thank you all so much for giving us this chance!”

– Angela W., Essure Reversal

“Excellent service overall! Each stage of the process was carefully explained in great detail: how the procedure works, what to expect during the procedure, what to expect after, possible side effects. Dr. Monteith himself is very knowledgeable and experienced and quite personable too. He has a great sense of humor and uses it generously to put patients at ease. I highly recommend him and his staff to anyone considering either a vasectomy or a vasectomy reversal.”

Chris B., Vasectomy Reversal

“The perfect little angel that I’m holding in my arms right now is the best testament to what Dr. Monteith and his staff do for people. We could not be happier with our decision to use Dr. Monteith. His staff are just amazing. Our entire experience was just a dream! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!”

Jamie B., Reversal of Cut & Tied Tubes


Ask The Doctor

Your questions about reversal surgery will be answered directly and promptly by Dr. Monteith. Please read our most frequently asked questions before submitting your questions. Dr. Monteith will not respond to general medical questions or if you are a patient of another doctor and are contacting him because your doctor is unavailable.* If you have been a patient at our reversal center and have specific questions about your medical care you should contact the reversal staff directly at (919) 977-5050.

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If you are considering reversal surgery and have questions about the procedure, fill in the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can! If you would like to speak with a nurse for a Free Consultation then feel free to call us at (919) 977-5050.

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