In vitro fertilization has allowed many men and women to have a child. IVF is a fertility treatment that assists in the various stages of conception to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy. IVF is an exciting option for patients dealing with infertility, and one that brings many people a great deal of hope. However, the IVF process can also be stressful.
Most people are so concerned about whether IVF will be a success that the slightest symptoms or body changes become cause for concern. This is especially true of cramping. Many women going through IVF experience cramping. The Los Angeles, CA fertility specialists at Pacific Fertility Center prepare patients for what degree of cramping can be expected throughout the IVF process, and what can be done to alleviate these symptoms.
Is Cramping Common during IVF Treatment?
Many women become nervous if they experience cramping during IVF treatment. Cramping is a common side effect in the days leading up to a woman’s period, so it is normal to wonder if cramps mean that IVF treatment has been unsuccessful. Conversely, some women see cramping as a sign of hope. Cramping can be an early symptom of pregnancy, so many wonder if it is a sign of successful IVF treatment.
It is best not to read too much in to cramping during IVF treatment. Mild to moderate cramping and pelvic discomfort are common side effects of IVF treatment. The medications used during IVF treatment trigger hormonal changes that can lead to cramping. Some of the procedures performed during the IVF process, particularly egg retrieval and embryo transfer, are also known to cause cramping. So, difficult as it may be not to read into the cause of cramping, it is best for patients to view this mild discomfort as a normal part of the IVF process.
Knowing that cramping is a common side effect of IVF does nothing to ease the discomfort that cramping may cause. Fortunately, there are steps that a patient can take to minimize pain when cramping strikes, including the following:
- Use over-the-counter pain reliever that has been approved by the doctor
- Soak in a warm bath
- Rest a warm compress on the area of discomfort
- Make sure you are getting enough fluids
- Try deep breathing or other relaxation techniques
When to Contact the Doctor
Although mild cramping and pelvic discomfort are common, more severe pain should not be ignored. If cramping is severe enough that the abovementioned treatments do not ease discomfort, additional treatment may be needed. Cramping should also be immediately reported to our doctors if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, trouble urinating, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting. These may be symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or ovarian torsion, both of which require medical attention.
At Pacific Fertility Center, men and women can find treatments for a full range of infertility issues. If you have been struggling to become pregnant and would like to learn more about your fertility treatment options, contact us at your earliest convenience.