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in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

What are the side effects of IVF injections?

  • 4.8 (2 Votes)

IVF treatment involves the usage of IVF injections and medications for multiple egg growth and development. But these IVF injections might lead to some side effects including higher risks of multiple births, blurred vision, hot flashes, changes in cervical mucus, increased chances of ovarian hyper stimulation and ectopic pregnancies.

In vitro fertilization is one of the most commonly utilized assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures. In the recent times, couples who are unable to conceive are utilizing this procedure to a great extent to have their own babies. There are various emotional and physical phases, which an individual undergoes before, during and after IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. In reality, very few individuals know the actual aspects of IVF treatment. You will be surprised to know that the fertility injections, which are used during the procedure, can have serious side effects. Before commencing the fertility treatment, it is essential to know the basics of IVF treatment and the risk associated with injections and medications.

How does IVF treatment work?

IVF treatment is a blessing for couples who are unable to conceive naturally.  During IVF process, a fertility expert retrieves multiple eggs from a female partner. These eggs are then fertilized with the sperms of a male partner in the laboratory. This procedure is completed once the embryos are formed and transferred into the uterus of the women undergoing IVF.

When is IVF needed?

IVF treatment is now successfully used in the following cases:

1- Women with defective or removed fallopian tubes

2- Women with medical problems like ovulation disorders, uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors in uterus) and ovarian failure at a premature stage

3- Male infertility problems like lower sperm count or lack of required sperm motility (movement)

lower sperm count

4- Genetic disorders

5- Unexplained infertility reasons

Side effects of IVF Treatment

Along with the popular benefits of IVF treatment, there are certain side effects of IVF treatment, whichare essential to note so as to prevent any kind of harmful effects on the mother or child. The side effects and risks of a medical treatment are always co-related to each other. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge regarding both the aspects of IVF treatment.

Here are some of the commonly noted side effects of IVF treatment.

1- Drug reaction

Various drugs and injections are used in IVF treatment. Below you will find the details regarding the side effects of IVF medications and injections.

2- Ectopic Pregnancy

Occurrence of pregnancies in areas like fallopian tubes instead of uterus can be seen in several cases of IVF treatment.

Ectopic Pregnancy

3- Early birth and low birth weight

Premature birth (before nine months) is quite common in cases of IVF treatments. You need to keep in mind that your baby can also have low birth weight.

4- Multiple births

It is much common to see that the babies born to mothers who have undergone IVF treatment are mostly twin babies. So, with IVF there are high chances of getting pregnant with twin babies. You need to know this before starting the IVF procedure.

Also, learn the ways to improve fertility in women.

5- Mental and physical toll

A couple undergoing IVF treatment can also face several effects on mental and physical wellbeing during the entire period of the treatment.

Side effects of IVF medications and injections

Since the beginning of IVF treatment, different medications and injections are used for successful pregnancy. One of the main motives of using medications along with injections is to ensure positive and increased production of eggs to help in successful IVF cycles. The doctor also makes sure that with the help of injections and medications, the ovulation and menstrual cycles are controlled well.

Side effects of ivf injections

Clomid is one of the commonly used medications in IVF treatments. It basically stimulates the pituitary glands, which then leads to the stimulation of ovaries. It is also used to treat conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome and ovulatory dysfunction. Apart from clomid, injectable drugs such as LH and FSH are utilized to come up with the desired results. These injections can be self-injected in the belly region of the woman. These injections are started on day 2 or day 3 of the periods. Some of the side effects of clomid medication or injection are as follows:

1- Changes in cervical mucus

Cervical mucus is affected in a negative way with the excessive consumption of clomid medication. Some of the common changes observed are the reduction in cervical mucus quantity and thedecrease in slippery texture.

2- Discomfort

Many women start feeling discomfort in the breast due to extreme tenderness in the breast region.

3- Nausea

Along with discomfort, nausea is also very common inindividuals who are undergoing IVF treatment with injections and medications. There is a sensation or feeling to vomit but the vomiting does not actually occur.

4- Blurred vision

Decrease in the vision of a woman undergoing IVF treatment can be seen in different cases. Many women have seen changes in their vision ability during the treatment due to the negative impact of medications and injections. Doctors recommend surgeries like Lasik surgeries for these individuals. So, you need to keep a note of this side effect, which can impact your health.

5- Hot flashes

Sometimes, women report of feeling sensations of heat coming out of their body once they start taking IVF injections and medications. This leads to an extra discomfort to the patients undergoing IVF treatment.

Hot flashes

6- Higher risk for multiple births

Yes! You heard that right. Utilization of Clomid or other IVF injections during IVF treatments is one of the prime reasons for increased chances of twin births. Clomid leads to a boost in the egg-stimulating hormones. This thereby leads to an increase in the conversion of follicles into mature eggs. The number of mature eggs and therefore embryos increase with the usage of Clomid medications or IVF injections.

Do you want to calculate and keep a track of your ovulation day? Then read about Ela Ovulation and Fertility app to help you with the precise calculation of your ovulation day.

Side effects of injectable IVF medications like Menopur, Follistim and Gonal-F include

  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Ectopic pregnancies
  • Rare multiple births
  • Decent possibility of ovarian hyper stimulation

HCG injections (Human chorionic Gonadotropin) are commonly used in IVF treatments. It has got a set of side effects, which one must know to avoid them, as much as possible.

Risk of Ovarian Hyper stimulation (OHSS)

Ovarian Hyper stimulation is one of the common side effects, which can be seen in women who are undergoing IVF treatment. Here, the ovaries become painful and swollen. This medical condition is known to have severe consequences on the health of women. It causes shortness of breath, diarrhea, and nausea, vomiting as well as swelling of limbs.

Increase in multiple pregnancies

Similar to Clomid, this medical condition also increases the chances of multiple pregnancies. You can talk to your doctor before proceeding with the IVF procedure


The woman will feel discomfort in the form of headaches, fatigue, irritability, fatigue, soreness as well as water retention.

Now, you have a fair idea regarding the different aspects of IVF treatments and injections along with their side effects. You can also read about other fertility treatments on ElaWoman blog. For any fertility assistance, feel free to contact at +917899912611.

Dr. Chitwan Dubey

About The Author

Obstetrician, Gynecologist Dr. Chitwan Dubey

Dr. Chitwan Dubey is a leading Obstetrician and IUI Expert currently working at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri, East Mumbai. She has been practicing in the same field for over a decade and her areas of expertise are Endometriosis, Ectopic Pregnancies, Fibroids, Total Lap Hysterectomies, and Fertility Enhancing Diagnostic etc. She completed MBBS from Rant's Medical College in 2004 followed by MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Mumbai University in 2006. Dr. Chitwan Dubey is an honoured member of Indian Medical Association (IMA). For contact details of Dr. Chitwan Dubey visit


  1. Infertility symptoms, causes and treatments IVF treatment, Elawoman - 2017
  2. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Blocked fallopian tubes causes and treatment fallopian tubes, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Treatment for male infertility Male infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  5. What is sperm motility? sperm motility, Elawoman - 2017
  6. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  7. How to get pregnant with twins pregnant with twin babies, Elawoman - 2017
  8. How to increase fertility in women - useful tips improve fertility in women, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Which are the most fertile days to plan pregnancy ovulation, Elawoman - 2017
  10. All about menstrual cycle, menstruation cycle, period cycle menstrual cycles, Elawoman - 2017



Sara Thompson

I will say everything has side effects. But the advantage of IVF injections can't be neglected that everyone knows. IVF has successfully helped many couples around the world.

June 2, 2018, 7:22 p.m. 5.0


Nilofer S Khan

Every medicine has its own set of side effects. But then, it is essential that the doctor opts for the injections only in the right quantities.

May 22, 2018, 7:57 p.m. 4.5

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