What kinds of investigations are required?
- Screening blood tests are carried out on both partners for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis (results are valid for one year).
- Additional investigations if indicated by the couple's doctor.
For potential mothers:
- FSH, LH, E2 on Day 2 of the cycle.
- Rubella IgG, Varicella IgG, Blood Grouping & CBC, Prolactin Level, TSH, T3, T4, AMH.
- Pap Smear if required.
- Pelvic Ultrasound (examination of uterus and cervix)
For potential fathers
- Semen analysis to ensure that the sperm can be adequately prepared for the treatment (semen analysis is valid for one year).
- Additional blood tests as requested by the treating physician
Reactions to Medication
The patient might have some reaction to the medication used during the treatment. It is advisable to contact the physician if experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Hot flushes
- Depression or irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal bloating due to an accumulation of fluid
- Ovarian hyper stimulation
- Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome
Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome is an uncommon side effect of infertility treatment caused by the injections of hormones, used to stimulate the ovaries. Usually, it is mild and short-lived. However it can occasionally become more serious and may require an admission to a hospital. There are two main problems arising from this condition:
- Ovaries swell and become considerably enlarged
- The blood vessels become very leaky which result in fluid accumulating in the abdomen and causing ascites, making the abdomen tender and uncomfortable.
The patient needs to inform the doctor if she feels:
- Tender and swollen abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breathlessness even without exercise
If a potential mother undergoes IVF, she is at a risk of an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes. The risk may increase in women who previously underwent surgery in their tubes, had pelvic infections, sexual transmitted diseases or other ectopic pregnancies.
The patient is advised to inform the doctor if she is having vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain after having an IVF cycle and a positive pregnancy test.
If more than one embryo is placed in the womb as part of the IVF treatment, there is an increased chance of having twins or triplets.
Having more than one baby may significantly increase the risk of complications for both the mother and the babies.
- Multiple pregnancies can raise the blood pressure significantly.
- The patient is two to three times more likely to develop diabetes during the pregnancy, if she is carrying more than one baby.
- There is a higher chance that the babies are born prematurely, with a low birth weight or even a miscarriage.