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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Spotting after IVF: What You Should Know

By Michael Vermesh on December 15, 2017

Photograph of a woman sitting on couch at homeWomen who experience spotting after IVF often become worried that something has gone wrong. Anxiety is understandable. Although scary, spotting or light bleeding can be normal, from the egg retrieval to the embryo transfer to the luteal phase. Our doctors at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology in Los Angeles, CA can help you understand what to expect after your IVF treatment.

Spotting after Egg Retrieval

When your eggs are collected prior to IVF, your doctor accesses them by inserting a needle through the vaginal wall. As you can imagine, this can cause light bleeding or spotting, which is quite common following egg retrieval.

Most patients who experience spotting after egg collection will notice an improvement within a couple of hours. Excessive bleeding is rare. However, if you experience more than spotting, it is important to inform your doctor immediately.

Spotting after Embryo Implantation

Often, women who experience spotting after embryo transfer assume the implantation failed. However, light bleeding or spotting can occur, and is especially common in instances where the cervix required manipulation during the transfer.

Sometimes called an “implantation bleed” this type of bleeding typically originates from the uterine opening. Therefore, it will have no negative impact on the embryonic development.

Spotting during the Luteal Phase

Some women will experience spotting during their luteal phase. This can be especially nerve-wracking, because it often seems to appear out of nowhere. Furthermore, it is typically too early to perform an ultrasound at this point, so patients must simply wait and wonder.

Spotting during the luteal phase can sometimes be accompanied by light cramping. It should also be noted that vaginal progesterone suppositories can also cause extreme cervical sensitivity, resulting in light bleeding.

Spotting Does Not Indicate IVF Failure

One important thing to remember is that spotting does not necessarily mean the pregnancy has failed. During the first several weeks, spotting and brown discharge can all be common occurrences.

Emotions can understandably run high during this time in your life. But it is important to understand that your uterus is under stress. Between your hormone medications and your developing embryo, there is a lot going on.

Typically, the only type of bleeding that should raise serious concern is that which is as heavy (or heavier) than your period. If heavy bleeding does occur, it could be an indication that your implantation has failed. Other times, it may signify an early miscarriage. For example, this can occur in multiple pregnancies if one of the fetuses is lost.

Understanding Your Progesterone Levels

If you experience heavy bleeding or anything else that raises concern, consult your doctor to determine the next course of action. He or she may decide to test your progesterone levels. If your levels are running low, the dosage can be increased.

Learn More about IVF

If you are contemplating fertility treatment options, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology. If you have recently undergone IVF, and you are concerned about spotting or other symptoms, contact one of our team members by calling (818) 881-9800 or by contacting us online.

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