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Assisted Reproduction

Side Effects and Complications

The most immediate side effect of IVF treatment is from the hormones used to stimulate the ovaries at the beginning of the cycle, causing moodiness, headaches, bloating, tiredness, and tender breasts. Also related to the hormones is the risk of hyperstimulation of the ovaries. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is characterized by painful enlargement of the ovaries, collection of fluid in the abdomen (and sometimes the chest), nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and a risk of blot clots. If OHSS happens, it is usually in the last week of the cycle, after the eggs have been collected and a few days after the embryos have been transferred.



Comparative Cost of IVF
Bulgaria ...................$1,433
Greece .....................$2,500
South Africa .............$3,500
Russia.......................$1,500
India ........................$2,500
Argentina.................$3,865
Iran..........................$1,800
Israel ........................$2,560
Canada ....................$4,800
Cyprus .....................$1,900
Poland .....................$2,750
Barbados..................$6,000
Thailand...................$2,125
Egypt .......................$3,000
Australia...................$7,000
Malaysia...................$2,250
Czech Republic ........$3,300
United States .........$10,000
Brazil........................$2,500
Dubai.......................$3,400



Possible complications with pregnancy are less immediate. Multiple pregnancy is much more common with IVF, and the more fetuses there are to share the womb, the riskier the pregnancy. Even with just one fetus after IVF, there is a slightly increased risk of premature delivery, low birth weight, or miscarriage. However, birth defects are no more common with IVF that after natural conception. Single vs Multiple Embryos In order to increase the chances of pregnancy, most ART providers transfer several embryos into the womb. However, this practice has resulted in a lot of twins, triplets, and even higher numbers of fetuses — greatly increasing the risk of miscarriage and numerous other problems. Now there is a trend toward transferring just one embryo. It is also possible to have an IVF cycle without having any hormone treatment. This is called a “natural cycle,” and just one egg is collected for fertilization in the laboratory. The use of multiple embryos is common, especially for older women, who are thought to have less chance of becoming pregnant during IVF. However, a recent study in Finland of 2,000 IVF treatments found that single embryo transfer was as effective for older women as for younger women. Nonetheless, most women still prefer to have two embryos transferred to enhance the likelihood of pregnancy. With more sophisticated technology, higherquality eggs and embryos can be selected. This has raised the success rate per cycle to 25 percent, or more. Be very skeptical, however, of clinics that claim more than 30 percent overall success. Abortion The medical termination of pregnancy is one kind of medical tourism that is not promoted. Many religions forbid abortion, it is illegal in many countries, and almost everywhere there is extreme social stigma or opprobrium attached to the procedure. Therefore, the typical motivations to have an abortion overseas are because they are available, inexpensive, and, most of all, anonymous. Islam, for example, forbids abortion. Consequently, India has a thriving business of providing abortions for Muslim women, especially from Arabic countries where abortion is strictly illegal. The procedure itself is quite simple, particularly if it is very early in the pregnancy. After an ultrasound examination to confirm pregnancy, the surgery takes about six to seven minutes. The cost in India is about $150 to $250. Many clinics have restrictions on who they will accept for abortion. Some limit patients to women who already have at least two children, or are in a precarious state of health such that pregnancy would result in a great risk, or those who have been raped, or are very young. At a quality clinic, there will be an interview to make sure the procedure is appropriate before it is carried out.

Content taken from the book MEDICAL TOURISM TRAVEL GUIDE

Book cover Medical Tourism Travel Guide by Paul Gahlinger Sunrise River Press

The Medical Tourism Travel Guide is the essential guide for anyone considering a medical trip overseas. It tells you everything you need to know to get top-notch medical care in world-class medical facilities at a cost far less than treatment in the United States. The author, Dr. Paul Gahlinger, has personally visited a great number of the facilities described in this book, and here he shares information on hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and spas in about 50 countries, as well as important tips on how to travel, how to pay, how to prepare, what to do, and what to avoid.

With kind permission of Paul Gahlinger. For more information visit Sunrise River Press