Risks and Side Effects


Risks and Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

Adnexal Torsion

Adnexal torsion is a condition where the stimulated ovary twists. This condition occurs in less than one in 100 cases and usually requires surgical untwisting or complete removal of the affected ovary.

Assisted Hatching

Assisted hatching is a procedure that helps embryos hatch from their outer shells. Researchers are still working to determine whether assisted hatching makes implantation more successful, as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, multiple births and birth defects may still occur with or without assisted hatching.

Birth Defects

Birth defects after fertility treatments, such as gonadotropin or IVF, are equal to those in the general population at 2 to 4 percent. Children born with the help of infertility treatments show the same developmental progress as their peers.

Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is the step in the in vitro fertilization process where our fertility doctor brings some of your eggs into the outside world, where they can receive advanced support for maximum fertility. Your New York fertility specialist performs the procedure as an outpatient, administering anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Risks include incidental puncture of the bladder that can cause temporary blood in your urine. There is a small risk for infection, bleeding or damage to abdominal organs, requiring further observation or even surgery. Risks associated with anesthesia include nausea, respiratory depression, headaches, and shock. While extremely rate, deaths have been reported following the use of anesthetic agents.

Embryo Transfer

There is a risk that you will experience minor discomfort or cramping after embryo transfer. There is also a risk for bleeding, and a minimal likelihood for developing a pelvic infection or tubal pregnancy.

Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs are associated with certain risks, including enlargement of the ovaries and the development of ovarian cysts. These conditions can result in temporary lower abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort.

You should avoid physical activity if you develop ovarian cysts, as these cysts may rupture and cause further problems requiring hospitalization or surgery. Overstimulation of the ovaries may cause fluid retention and abdominal swelling that, in some cases, may lead to shock. While the risk for these serious side effects are minimal, our attentive fertility specialists will monitor your condition as you use these medications to minimize your risk for problems.

Researchers are still working to determine whether the use of fertility drugs causes ovarian cancer. Earlier studies suggested a link between cancer and infertility drugs but subsequent research show there is no association between the two.

GnRH Analog (Lupron®)

This medication may cause temporary hot flushes, body aches, vaginal dryness and other menopausal-like symptoms, especially when you have low estrogen levels.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

There is a small risk that performing this procedure may damage eggs. Additionally, fertilization may not occur even in a successful ICSI procedure.

Multiple Pregnancy

Multiple pregnancies occur in up to one in five pregnancies resulting from gonadotropins. In comparison, only 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies occurring in the general population results in two, three or even more babies. While multiple births create a big family instantly, multiple birth pregnancies have a higher rate of higher rate of preterm labor, newborn death, stillbirth, maternal morbidity and mortality. Having multiple babies can also increase financial costs and emotional stress.


In addition to making you feel pregnant, progesterone may also cause bloating, nausea, headache, depression, increased appetite and weight gain, fatigue, sleepiness, and other sleep disorders.

Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have by telephoning 212.804.6666 or emailing Info@NobleFertility.com.


Noble Fertility Center
137 East 36th Street, Ground Floor
Murray Hill

New York, NY 10016
Phone: 925-230-9465

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