IVF is the most widely used technique to assist with pregnancy

The main steps in IVF treatment:

1. Suppressing Your Normal Monthly Hormone Cycle

Possible Side Effects
This puts your body in a menopausal state. So you might experience some symptoms of the menopause: hot flushes, mood changes, and dryness of the skin.

2. Boosting The Number Of Eggs


Possible Side Effects
The addition of any extra hormones can cause side effects, most commonly these include: flushing, breast tenderness, nausea or vomiting and abnormal uterine bleeding.

3. Checking Progress


Possible Side Effects
Hyper Ovarian Stimulation Syndrome is a rare complication of IVF - too many eggs develop, causing the ovaries to become large and painful.

4. Preparing The Eggs For Collection


5. Collecting The Eggs


Possible Side Effects
This can be uncomfortable so you will probable be given some sedation.

6. Fertilising The Eggs


7. Embryo Transfer

For more information on specific fertility drugs please visit Fertility Network 

Risks of having IVF

This is something that you should discuss with your Doctors, both those involved with your cancer and those at the fertility centre.
As with any medications, you may get some side effect. Minor symptoms include: mild hot flushes, headaches, irritability and restlessness.

A dangerous over reaction to fertility drugs is called OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome)

  • Multiple cysts in the ovary cause enlargement and a redistribution of the fluid in your body. Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and usually begin a few days after your eggs have been harvested. OHSS can be very severe, even life-threatening, and it’s important you feel confident looking for any signs, this is something you should discuss with your fertility specialist.

Just as with ‘natural’ conception, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are risks to be aware of.

  • You are no more likely to miscarry after IVF, and you will have a scan a couple of weeks after a positive pregnancy test to see if the pregnancy is likely to miscarry.

  • An ectopic pregnancy happens when the embryo develops in the fallopian tube (the tube between ovary and uterus) instead of in the uterus. Signs to look out for include pain and bleeding from the vagina. If your doctor is worried about this then you will have a blood test and scan.

If you have more than one embryo transferred during IVF, you may develop a multiple pregnancy.

  • Multiple births are the biggest health risk associated with IVF so it’s essential you discuss this with your doctor when you are deciding how many embryos to have transferred.

For more information about fertility treatment and other techniques please visit Fertility Network