How Safe is IVF Treatment?

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people think IVF is relatively safe — but is it really? Multiple studies have reported a high risk of birth deformity including brain disorders, developmental delays and genital malformations.

While celebrities and wealthy couples can afford it, many struggle with treatments costing lakhs of rupees per live birth with multiple IVF cycles.

Even couples who can afford IVF are starting to examine more closely the potential health complications for mother and child and are turning to complementary and alternative treatment options

On top of that, scientists have warned mothers who undergo IVF treatments of increased health risks to reproductive organs including uterine cancer in later life.

IVF Does Not Address the Root Cause of Infertility

When we take a closer look at IVF it is far less safe and less effective than we are often led to believe. As well as being invasive and prohibitively expensive for many, IVF treatments carry a substantial health risk to both the mother and baby.

Conventional IVF and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments don’t address root causes of infertility. These subtle but critical factors interact synergistically to impact the quality of your eggs and sperm, affecting your ability to conceive and the health of your embryo.

IVF ONLY as the Final Option

IVF should be the last option after all natural treatment options have been exhausted. It should never be the first option. The rate of success of IVF is (on average) 27 percent per single attempt.

Most infertility can be treated without IVF. However, if IVF is needed the success rate of each attempt is nearly doubled by combining it with a natural treatment alternatives.

Reasons IVF should always be the last option:

  • Injected fertility drugs can predispose women to chromosomal irregularities and are linked to increased risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and fetal abnormalities.
  • Fertility drugs are under-regulated and not subject to the same testing as other pharmaceuticals. Clinics are free to prescribe dangerously high doses of these drugs.
  • Studies report higher rates of long-term medical problems for children conceived via assisted means.
  • Here’s what the pioneer of IVF in New York Dr Sami David – had to say: “Even if all infertility doctors were good ones, the industry itself is woefully under-regulated. Indeed, the way infertility treatment is carried out today is problematic in many ways.”
  • When you seek advice from a fertility clinic, please bear in mind that most are actually IVF clinics. With a few exceptions, most IVF clinics only offer technology and drug based treatments because that’s where the money is! Before you arrive for your first visit, the doctor has pre-determined the IVF (or another ART) route for you. Women are often pressured into making rushed decisions and not made fully aware of their alternatives. Many doctors, driven by pressure for a quick fix are over-medicating their patients which can predispose them to health and fertility complications down the track.

The Telegraph mentioned on 24 Apr 2012 about a French research which concluded that IVF drugs were linked to childhood cancer.

French researchers told in a conference in London that they believed, there is a strong association between the use of ovarian stimulation drugs and two types of childhood leukaemia.

Specifically, they have calculated that their use is associated with a 2.6-fold increase in the risk of developing the most common form of childhood leukaemia, called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), and a 2.3-fold increase in the risk of developing a rarer type, called acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

The same newspaper had mentioned on 25 Jul 2010 that the risk of women dying during pregnancy increases more than threefold after IVF.

A recent study from the Netherlands showed that overall rate of death in IVF pregnancies was higher than the maternal death rate in the general population (42 mothers’ deaths per 100,000 IVF pregnancies compared to 6 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies overall).

Even IVF specialists accept that the most worrisome complication of IVF is that of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome which may even land the prospective mother in Intensive care unit ( ICU ).

Multiple Pregnancies in IVF

About one in four of all IVF pregnancies result in a multiple birth in the UK owing to the common practice of replacing two or three embryos. Although some would consider having twins to be a happy result, there are many problems associated with multiple pregnancy, and problems become progressively more severe and common with triplets and each additional fetus thereafter. Women carrying a multiple pregnancy may need to spend weeks or even months in bed or in the hospital. There may be enormous bills for the prolonged and intensive care for premature babies. There is also a greater risk of late miscarriages or premature delivery in multiple pregnancies.

Excessive IVF Recommendation

Another danger of too many IVF clinics is the risk of overtreatment. In order to remain profitable, many clinics now offer IVF to infertile couples as a treatment of first choice ( rather than reserving it for patients who truly need it). While this does help them to keep their financial bottomline healthy and to increase their pregnancy rates ( since many of these patients are young couples, who never needed IVF in the first place !) , it is an inappropriate use of limited medical resources. IVF treatment should be reserved only for patients who really need it. Paradoxically, while rich patients end up getting IVF even when they don’t need it, poor patients are often deprived of this treatment even though they need it, because of the expense involved.

IVF Success Rate:

Overall, approximately 27 percent of IVF cycles will end in a live birth, and the cumulative chances of success are higher when more than one cycle of IVF is done.

Summary – IVF Treatment

IVF should never be the first option for treating infertility. Natural infertility treatments are generally more effective, as well as being cheaper, safer and less invasive.

In addition — when compared to IVF — natural infertility treatments invariably offer better long term health outcomes for both mother and baby. Infertility — for the majority of couples — is not an incurable disease.

Your level of fertility and the quality of your eggs and sperm is determined by many small but crucial factors. When combined these factors add up to the difference between fertility and infertility. The natural Homeopathy treatment offers a complete treatment option for various causes of infertility. Homeopathy treatment is non-invasive, gentle and completely safe for mother & child. Homeopathy can help couples have a natural conception & offers a healthier alternative to over abused IVF treatment.

( as accessed on 18/06/2012 )–Naturally.aspx

17 thoughts on “How Safe is IVF Treatment?”

  1. Dear Sir ,
    we have tried 5 cycle of IUI & one cycle of IVF but I am getting negative result , Kindly help me out what will be the next steps to be taken .


      Dear Sir,
      My wife has a problem of Fallopian tube blockage both (reports from HSG) , which results from tuberculosis in tube. After ATT taken for six months doctors done hysteroscopy and a sample taken for test named TB PCR which was positive and doctors given ATT for another 04 months.Now they plan for IVF, as they declared there is no option, also one attempt IUI done but it shows negative result. Now please suggest what should we done before going IVF. Please suggest

      1. Dr.Sourabh Welling,M.D.

        Dear Mr. AASHAQ HUSSAIN,

        We have mailed you an email detailing you the options.

        With warm regards,


        1. hello dr. even i have both tubes blocked, with endometriosis and tb diagnosed after hysteroscopy. i was found allergic to refambasin hence was on other four components of tb medicine. with two cycles of failed ivf, i really need your help.

  2. I will be undergoing ivf in July , though I have a son 9 yrs from natural conception. please help me .I have done 3 cycle of ivf already .

    1. Dr.Sourabh Welling,M.D.

      Dear Mrs Shamistha,

      We have mailed you an email detailing you the process.

      With warm regards,


  3. Last year from HSG test & laproscopy we came to know that my both Fallopian Tubes are not working (hydrosalphinix).We are going to start with IVF treatment from Nov.Is there any other option?

  4. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life. I want to encourage continue your great job.

  5. hi, i have done the hsg . my one fallopian is blocked and one is working proprely . but after try the one month doctor suggested me the IVF / Laproscopy.

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