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What are the opportunities and risks in vitro fertilisation?

Opportunities The younger the woman, the better

The expectation of pregnancy after in vitro fertilisation or in vitro fertilisation plus Intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) is about as high as the natural expectation of pregnancy in a healthy couple. The natural pregnancy rate is 20-25% per cycle.

  • The pregnancy rate at our clinic per embryo transfer is 44.6% per embryo transfer with IVF + ICSI with the first treatment in women up to 40 years.
  • After up to four treatment cycles, 83.5% of the women are pregnant. The age of the woman has a significant influence on the chance of success.

The pregnancy rates of the MVZ PAN Institute

The risks: Hyperstimulation can have adverse reactions as a result - but these are treatable

Like any physical intervention, in vitro fertilisation is connected also connected with risks. Goal of hormone therapy is the ripening of multiple eggs. Despite careful ultrasound and serum hormone control, hyperstimulation can occur. The so-called hyperstimulation syndrome is associated with a significant enlargement of the ovaries, pelvic pain, as well as relatively high oestrogen levels, which leads to an increased vascular permeability and an increased risk of thrombosis. These symptoms are however easy to handle and disappear completely. Patients with a high risk of hyperstimulation syndrome are recognised within the framework of the preliminary diagnostics for IVF. A customised stimulation can prevent hyperstimulation today for the most part.

Increased chances of multiple birth
In order to increase the chances for success of the IVF procedure, two or at most three embryos are transferred at one time. Thus, multiple birth rates are higher compared with the normal rate of multiple births: Out of 100 births after IVF/ICSI, 21.95 percent are twin births and 0.733 percent are triplet births (German IVF registry 2012). This is compared to a natural frequency of 1.2% for twin births and 0.013 percent for triplet births.

Risk of malformation with extracorporal fertilisation
The occurrence of a malformation in a child cannot be excluded for any pregnancy. The discussion about whether the risk of a malformation is increased for children conceived with the IVF or ICSI procedure is still not resolved. However, the figures show that the slightly increased risk as compared to children without reproductive health measures is not attributed to the methods but is based primarily on the genetic and personal conditions of the parents with fertility problems.

Increases in risks in the percentage range can occur if couple exhibits a few additional individual characteristics such as:

  • Increased age
  • Overweight or diabetes mellitus in the woman
  • "Marriage to close relatives"
  • Genetic disorders in one of the partners or in the relatives/family
  • Previous birth of children from the couple with congenital disorders or incidents in the relatives/family
  • Condition after radiotherapy or chemotherapy
  • Negative dietary habits or environmental influences during the pregnancy (e.g. smoking or malnutrition)
For more information, go to www.repromed.de.

No indication of an increased cancer risk
Again and again fertility-enhancing drugs are associated with a higher risk of cancer. Currently there is no indication.