IVF and Cramping: What Does it Mean?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) provides many patients the opportunity to successfully conceive. This procedure is beneficial for patients with female or male factor infertility. At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, we are committed to helping patients within the Los Angeles, CA area achieve the family they’ve always desired. During your initial consultation, one of our fertility specialists will explain the IVF procedure in detail, taking the time to answer any questions you may have, as well as provide a list of symptoms you may experience throughout the procedure.
We understand that undergoing fertility treatment can be nerve wracking and overwhelming, which is why we are committed to making sure our patients are well educated on the overall process. In addition, we are available to talk to you when concerns arise to minimize anxiety. Knowing ahead of time that IVF and cramping, as well as other side effects, such as tender breasts and spotting are normal, can help alleviate stress when these symptoms occur.
Why Does Cramping Occur during IVF?
Although cramping is commonly a sign of your period coming, or the beginning signs of pregnancy, it can occur at any point throughout your IVF procedure for any number of reasons. Light to moderate cramping that is accompanied by tender breasts and light spotting is actually fairly common and not something to be alarmed by, especially 24 to 48 hours after the embryo transfer.
Because your body is undergoing hormone therapy in addition to foreign objects entering reproductive organs to retrieve eggs and implant embryos, it is not uncommon for your body to respond with mild to moderate cramps. For patients in the initial stages of IVF, this can generally be minimized with over-the-counter pain medication and a heating pad.
If you experience light cramping after the embryo transfer, this will typically subside 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Before taking medications, it is always best to speak with your doctor so as not to disrupt the implanting of the embryos. Due to the nature of the procedure, some patients have sensitivities that could place them at risk for a failed IVF procedure if certain medications are taken during their embryo transfer.
Once the transfer has taken place and cramping has subsided, you may experience additional cramping somewhere between days 10 to 14. This could be a sign of successful embryo implantation, especially if it is followed by tender breasts, nausea, and fatigue. However, each patient is different. Coming in for a follow-up pregnancy blood test will confirm your results.
If cramping becomes more severe, and is followed by heavy bleeding, please contact our office right away. This could be a sign of a serious condition, such as ovarian torsion, pelvic infection, ovarian hemorrhage, or even IVF failure.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are just starting on the infertility journey or have been navigating it for some time, our team is committed to helping you achieve a successful pregnancy through IVF. To learn more about the IVF process and the other fertility treatments we provide, contact our office today online or by calling (818) 881-9800. One of our specialists will meet with you to discuss all the available options.