- Blood drawing: Discomfort and the possibility of developing a painful bruise at the needle site may occur. A blood clot in the vein may occur.
- Ultrasound: This examination involves the use of a form of energy (sound waves) which at high energy levels may produce heat and tissue damage. At the extremely low energy levels utilized in diagnostic ultrasounds, no adverse effects have been observed to date.
- Medications: Some of the risks associated with taking hormone medications to stimulate multiple egg production are common. Women may experience none, any or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, slight weight gain or loss, breast tenderness and enlargement, occasional vaginal bleeding, yeast infections of the vagina, vaginal discharge and wetness, hot flashes, night sweats, menstrual period cramping, headaches, fluid retention, and mood swings. Much less common side effects include appetite changes, nervousness, fatigue, and changes in sex drive. More serious but rare side effects include hypertension (high blood pressure), gall bladder disease, blood clots developing in the legs, lungs, eyes, brain, heart or elsewhere, heart attacks and strokes.
There is some evidence that treatment with fertility drugs could lead to an increased risk of cancer—in particular, breast, ovarian, and uterine (including endometrial) cancers. One must be careful in interpreting research studies of women taking fertility drugs. Since these cancers are more common in women with infertility, simply comparing women taking fertility drugs with women in the general population inevitably shows an increased incidence of cancer. When the analysis accounts for the increased cancer risk due to infertility per se, the evidence does not support a relationship between fertility drugs and an increased prevalence of breast or ovarian cancer. More research is required to examine the long-term impact fertility drugs may have on breast and ovarian cancer prevalence rates. For uterine cancer, the numbers are too small to draw conclusions.
- Antibiotics: Most women will be given an antibiotic. The use of an antibiotic may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, rashes, sensitivity to the sun, allergic reactions resulting in shock, or blood disease including reduced platelets or fractured red cells (causing anemia or bleeding).
- Ovarian Hyper-stimulation: Use of hormonal agents may result in the growth of ovarian cysts and/or mild to severe ovarian enlargement may develop, causing pain, internal bleeding, and severe disturbances of fluid and chemistry balances. This may require hospitalization. Blood clots are possible which could lead to strokes or other life threatening complications.
- Aspiration of Eggs under Ultrasonographic Guidance: Pain of short duration is likely. There is a possibility of seeing blood in the urine for a day following the procedure. Perforation of blood vessels, bladder, bowel, bleeding from the ovary, and pelvic infection are possible.
- Laparoscopy: Infection of the incision site or pelvic organs is possible. Perforation of bowel or bladder, internal bleeding, possible formation of scar tissue by attempted egg collection and/or manipulation of pelvic organs may occur.
- Anesthesia: Sedation or general anesthesia may cause numerous possible adverse reactions from various drugs and procedures. A separate consent form, which you will sign before undergoing this procedure, outlines the risks involved in the use of anesthesia.
- Embryo Transfer: This procedure may cause discomfort and may lead to infection or ectopic or tubal pregnancy which could result in hemorrhage, or excessive bleeding, and death.
- Multiple Pregnancies: Replacement of more than one embryo will increase the chance of multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies have an increased risk of premature birth, birth defects, maternal hypertension, low birth weight, and many other complications.
- Psychological Risks: One risk is failure of the procedure to produce a pregnancy. If the procedures are not successful, you may be very disappointed. You also may experience frustration, anxiety, and/or depression, which may be severe. Mood swings may result from medications or from your psychological response to the experience of Fertility Preservation. Long-term psychological effects are unknown. Any psychological consultation associated with the treatment program is not intended to predict short or long term effects.
Risks: I understand that my frozen egg(s) may, upon warming/ thawing, degenerate. If this occurs, the egg(s) will not be inseminated and will not be replaced into my uterus. It seems that egg(s) and embryos either survive unharmed or die. To RBA’s knowledge, there is no indication at the current time that freezing of egg(s) increases birth defects. To date, children born as a result of egg cryopreservation have not had increased rates of abnormalities. It is possible that in the future more information in this area of concern may become known. I understand that there may be unforeseen risks or complications for me, a current or future male partner, or the egg(s) or embryo(s), fetus(es), or the child(ren) which develop(s) from this treatment. While it is difficult to anticipate any such risks, I acknowledge that I have been notified of their possibility.