Having offspring is seen as the natural way of life and people are willing to go to any lengths to have their own and when they can’t naturally – they turn to Artificial Reproduction Techniques (ART). And it’s not only Indians that are obsessed with children – the fertility industry is a major part of India’s medical tourism industry – and India is fast becoming the surrogacy capital of the world. Experts say that the fertility business is worth a whopping Rs 13,033 crore.
One needs to know the side-effects of certain ART procedures – giving heavy doses of hormones to woman to make her ovulate can have an adverse effect on her health, experts say. Drugs which act by suppressing the natural menstrual cycle (Lucrin, Synarel, etc.) can have side-effects similar to menopause. You could experience hot flushes and mood swings. Gonadotrophin is a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce more eggs. Side-effects may include weariness, mood swings, nausea and headache. Since the ovaries swell up some patients complain of additional pelvic pressure. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin facilitates the final maturing of the oocyte (oocyte is a cell that goes on to become the ovum or the egg and is more uncomfortable than other injections. It’s often called the ‘trigger’ injection. Some drugs like doxycycline and progesterone don’t actually help produce oocytes but help in other ways by protecting the embryo or thickening the uterine walls. Side-effects of doxycycline include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin rashes and photosensitivity whereas progesterone can cause perianal pain, headaches, nausea and drowsiness.
A more specific problem which occurs in about 1-2% of patients who undergo super-ovulation induction is a problem called Ovarian Hyper-stimulation syndrome. Essentially fluid from the bloodstream leaks into the abdominal cavity causing it to swell. Several symptoms include respiratory issues, kidney failure and arterial and venous thrombosis. Treatment would involve the infusion of intravenous fluids and the fluid in the abdomen may need draining off.