IVF Pregnancy vs Natural Pregnancy: What’s the Difference

IVF Pregnancy vs Natural Pregnancy: What’s the Difference

Hello everyone, Congratulations for your IVF pregnancy. Your patience and efforts involved in IVF have paid off and the new journey has just begun. Myself, Dr. Shikha Sardana from Obs Gynae department, Chaitanya Hospital, Chandigarh. In a drive to support the health of moms and babies, we are again here today. The question that we will address today is regarding IVF pregnancies. How is an IVF pregnancy different from a natural one?

IVF, the unique technique of making babies in the lab is gaining popularity and with improved success rates, more and more women are now experiencing the IVF pregnancies. And Likewise, we doctors now find that a significant chunk of our obstetric population are pregnant patients that we are managing our IVF conceived ones. But still, it is not surprising when we find IVF conceived women anxious to know if their pregnancy would be a normal pregnancy or a high-risk one because they conceive their baby in a lab.

With all our experience over the time, we are here to answer you. We understand that a woman with IVF pregnancy is under a lot of stress during the IVF procedure, taking daily hormonal injections, daily medicines, visiting doctors, and hoping desperately for the positive result. This is like a normal all IVF pregnancies. But now as you are pregnant it’s the time to leave all your stress behind and enjoy your pregnancy.

IVF pregnancy is just like any other pregnancy. But yes it needs somewhat more medical support in the initial 3 months. After the 3 months, IVF pregnancy is just like a natural pregnancy, you don’t need even any extra medications. In fact, the need for bed rest is also a myth. It’s the most common myth that prevails about IVF that strict bed rest would be required for all 9 months. Actually there is no added advantage of taking strict bed rest after conceiving by IVF. She only needs to avoid strenuous activities. The roller coaster ride of IVF pregnancy is no different than natural pregnancy. The minor differences if any are not because of IVF perse it’s because of the pre-existing health conditions. The baseline health conditions in which you have got your IVF done or because of the baseline health conditions the basic indications for which the IVF was done.

See let’s take up the problem of miscarriage. The problem of miscarriage is slightly higher in women with IVF pregnancies. But this is probably related to the fact that the age of women getting IVF done is more and with advanced-stage or otherwise, as such, they are more likely to have some medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, hormonal disorders. Then there can be fibroids for other uterine anomalies. All this contributes to a slightly higher risk of miscarriage in IVF pregnancies. That is why we support the IVF pregnancy with extra medications in the initial 3 months. Then the other contributing factor is higher incidence of aneuploid and chromosomal abnormal embryos in humans as such.

Then coming to multiple pregnancies and IVF. Multiple pregnancies like twins, triplets are always at a higher risk because of increased chances of preterm delivery and low birth weight. These twins or triplets can happen in IVF when more than one embryo is placed in your uterus to increase the chances of pregnancy but IVF perse does not add on to the risk, the condition. The risk associated with the condition is just like the risk with naturally conceived twins.

Then coming to abnormalities in the IVF babies. Yes, again this is one of the biggest doubts with IVF. Whether the IVF baby would be a normal one as they are artificially created in the lab. So here we want to tell you that IVF procedure does not lead to congenital abnormalities in the babies, it is basically infertility perse that increases the rate of anomalies. The rate of anomalies are same in infertile population whether conceived spontaneously or by IVF. Factors like advanced age, obesity, etc contribute to the risk. Women with IVF pregnancies are continually under strict supervision to confirm the normalcy of baby is by various tests like blood screenings, targeted ultrasounds for fetal anomalies, Echo study for the heart. All these confirm the normalcy of the babies and these tests are quite reassuring.

Then coming to the mode of delivery. IVF pregnancies can deliver vaginally if you don’t have any high-risk factor. In fact we encourage you to go for antenatal exercises to increase the chance of normal delivery. Regarding the higher incidence of cesarian section in IVF pregnancy the reason is once again due to the associated high-risk factors that we have discussed before.

So I hope now you must be able to understand that IVF perse does not make your pregnancy high-risk but yes it makes your pregnancy a special and precious one requiring more care. If you have any query you can ask us. Once again, Congratulations the dream has come true. There is a new life growing inside you. Now enjoy this beautiful phase with wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy with thank you all for joining us.

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