Risks and Complications of Artificial Insemination
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What are the risks in artificial insemination?
As with any surgical or invasive procedure, there are risks and potential complications that can occur. These can stem around the entrance into the pelvic cavity and intrusion into the uterus, or can be related to the medications utilized during the process.
Risks and complications of artificial insemination can include:
- adverse side effects to the medications used to stimulate egg production - hormones used to stimulate fertility can cause hot flashes, mood swings and other symptoms similar to premenstrual syndrome or even menopause
- bleeding into the ovary following puncture to retrieve the eggs - rare but possible, especially in women who are taking blood thinners or who have blood clotting defects
- miscarriage of the implanted embryo - this is a risk for any pregnancy
- multiple birth - this is common due to the use of fertility drugs
- infection from the sperm - though rare, sperm cannot be sterilized in the traditional sense, so there can still be a risk for contracting an infection
- puncture of the uterus during egg retrieval - this is not frequent and is more of a risk in obese women where there is a great deal of fatty tissue to navigate to reach the ovary.
Artificial insemination involves surgical techniques, which always carry certain risks, due to the penetration of the skin and internal organs. The risks for artificial insemination are not greater than for any other surgical procedure, and the potential benefits of an infertile couple conceiving a healthy child certainly outweigh the potential risks.