During pregnancy and childbirth

Generally speaking, pregnancy and childbirth are very safe events in countries like Australia with a good healthcare system and most babies are born healthy. But, irrespective of how you conceive, you may have unexpected complications during pregnancy or at the time of birth. Some of these complications are more common with IVF than with spontaneous conception. This is because:

1 When more than one embryo is transferred, there's always a chance that you'll have twins (and occasionally triplets) and this is much more risky than a singleton pregnancy.

1 Women who have IVF are generally older when they give birth and this increases the risk of pregnancy complications.

Compared with pregnant women in general, women who fall pregnant with IVF are more likely to:

1 Be older when they give birth (on average, about five years older)

i Be delivered by caesarean section

1 Deliver the baby prematurely

1 Have a multiple birth

1 Have a baby with lower birth weight

1 Have a baby who dies around the time of birth

Pregnancy complications: Facts and figures

When you're considering the risks of pregnancy as a result of IVF treatment, you need to compare these risks with how often complications happen in spontaneously conceived pregnancies. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publishes an annual report on Australian mothers and babies. Here are some points to ponder from its latest report:

1 1 in every 6 pregnancies miscarry (1 in 5 after IVF)

1 1 in every 14 babies is born prematurely (1 in 5 after IVF)

1 10 in every 1,000 babies dies around the time of birth (14 in 1,000 after IVF)

13 in every 100 babies has some sort of birth defect (6 in 100 after IVF)

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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