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Complications of infertility treatment
The following are possible complications caused by infertility treatment.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
The ovaries become very swollen, leaking excess fluid into the body. The ovaries produce too many follicles (small fluid sacs in which an egg develops). OHSS usually occurs as a result of taking medications to stimulate the ovaries, such as clomifene and gonadtrophins, and can also develop after IVF. Symptoms can include:
- Dark urine
- Pain in the abdomen
In most cases symptoms are mild and easy to treat. On very rare occasions the patient may develop a blood clot (thrombosis) in an artery or vein, liver or kidney problems, and respiratory distress. In very severe cases OHSS can be potentially fatal.
This is a pregnancy when the fertilized egg does not implant in the womb - in most cases the fertilized egg grows in the fallopian tube. If it stays in the fallopian tube the mother will usually miscarry before complications develop, such as the rupture of the fallopian tube. Women receiving fertility treatment have a slightly higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. An ultrasound scan can detect an ectopic pregnancy.