In vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, oversees and assists throughout the stages of conception to increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. IVF involves the use of fertility drugs that alter hormone levels to help control a woman’s cycle. As a result, IVF is likely to cause minor to moderate side effects for patients.
One of the most common side effects experienced by our Los Angeles, CA, patients at Pacific Fertility Center is fatigue. Our fertility doctors are happy to discuss the likelihood of fatigue during IVF treatment with our patients, as well as offer some tips that make it easier to manage this symptom.
What Causes Fatigue during IVF?
The most common cause of fatigue during IVF treatment is changes in hormone levels. Specifically, fatigue is often the result of heightened levels of progesterone. When a woman gets pregnant, progesterone naturally increases. The body produces extra progesterone so that it can create and sustain a healthy embryo lining.
When a woman is undergoing IVF treatment, she will be given various fertility drugs. These drugs increase certain hormone levels, including progesterone, to prepare the body for pregnancy. Just as when progesterone levels rise naturally during pregnancy, increased progesterone levels during IVF are likely to result in fatigue.
While changes in hormone levels are the most prominent cause of fatigue during IVF, the condition can be further exacerbated by stress or anxiety. By the time a woman undergoes IVF treatment, she has often been dealing with infertility issues for at least a year. The worry and anticipation of repeated failed pregnancy attempts can take both a physical and mental toll, so it is understandable that many of our Los Angeles patients already feel worn down when their IVF journey begins.
When Is Fatigue Most Pronounced?
Many women experience general fatigue throughout the IVF process. However, there are certain stages of treatment when fatigue is likely to be most pronounced:
- Ovarian stimulation: IVF treatment begins with ovarian stimulation. Patients will take fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries and encourage the release of mature eggs. When a woman starts fertility medication, changes in hormone levels are likely to cause fatigue.
- Embryo transfer: Fertility drugs are given to IVF patients prior to their embryo transfer. These drugs increase progesterone levels to thicken the uterine lining so that an embryo can more easily implant. Again, changing hormone levels are likely to cause fatigue.
- Early stages of pregnancy: Women often experience heightened fatigue a few weeks after their embryo transfer. This can result from the use of progesterone or successful pregnancy.
Fatigue during IVF treatment can be significant at times, but most women are able to continue following their regular routine without any real issues. However, it is important that women listen to their body and make accommodations as necessary. The following tips can make it easier for our Los Angeles patients to deal with fatigue:
- Get plenty of sleep at night
- Take naps as needed
- Stay well hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help with chores, errands, or other tasks
- Remind yourself that this is temporary and will soon pass
Contact Us Today
At Pacific Fertility Center, we offer a wide range of services to individuals who are struggling with infertility. If you would like to learn more about IVF or the other treatments that are available at our practice, contact us today, or call (310) 853-8320 to set up a personal consultation.