IVF Side Effects

During various stages of IVF treatments, side effects or complications may occur. The chances of suffering from these are not very high. In most cases, it is only one percent or even less. Still, it is important to be aware of this.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is more common in young women or in women who suffer from interference during follicle maturation. In OHSS, hormone stimulation causes too many follicles to be made. The consequences are abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and nausea. To remedy it, it is wise to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Often, OHSS will go away on its own after this. If it does not, you will be monitored by the treatment center with ultrasounds. Hospitalization is also required in some cases. Often with OHSS, pregnancy is discouraged, and treatment may therefore be stopped.

The opposite can also happen, which is that a woman does not respond to hormone stimulation. A larger dose of the drug cannot always remedy this. If there is no response at the maximum dose, treatment is discontinued, and IVF treatment is not possible. This often occurs in women older than 38 years or when women have a reduced egg supply. In the latter case, treatment is not an option. Egg donation is still an option in both cases.


It is normal to lose some blood after a puncture, but in some cases, it may continue to bleed. If this happens to you, you could try to stem it with some kind of tampon. If that does not work, a suture may be needed.


During the puncture, it can always happen that, despite good hygiene, bacteria get into the ovaries. Sometimes the body does not clear the bacteria on its own, and abdominal pain, abnormal discharge and fever may occur. To prevent infection, an antibiotic is prescribed.

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Infections can also occur during embryo culture, which may render the embryos unusable.

Allergic reactions

The skin may react slightly to the drugs you receive during treatment, such as sensitivity, itching, and swelling. In this case, contact the doctor so that a switch to a similar drug can be made if necessary. If you know of yourself that you are extremely sensitive to some antibiotics, it is wise to mention this before treatment.

Less serious side effects include bruising, pain, redness, swelling or itching at the injection site. Extensive skin redness and rash have been observed in rare cases.

Factors That May Disqualify You from IVF Treatment

  • If you have a tumor in the ovaries, breasts, uterus, testes/testes, pituitary gland (brain appendage), or hypothalamus,
  • If you are pregnant or nursing,
  • If you are hypersensitive (allergic) to follitropin beta,
  • If you have heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding whose cause is unknown,
  • If you have impaired ovarian function,
  • If you have ovarian cysts or enlarged ovaries not related to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS),
  • If you have genital abnormalities that make pregnancy impossible,
  • If you have fibroids (myomas) in the uterus that make pregnancy impossible,
  • If you suffer from a primary disorder of the testes.

IMPORTANT: Remember that your doctor will provide you with the best information!

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