IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a treatment that aids many parents to experience parenthood. In this process, eggs are retrieved from your ovaries and fertilized with sperm. The process also makes use of donor eggs and donor sperm from a partner or a donor. The eggs fertilized with the sperm are called embryos, and they are inserted into the uterus. The embryo implants in the uterus and results in pregnancy. While some women experience symptoms of pregnancy after IVF, many women do not even realize that implantation has taken place until they undergo a scan.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pregnancy After IVF?
The symptoms of pregnancy after IVF is similar to the symptoms you experience when you get pregnant naturally. Any symptom that you experience is a sign that your body is preparing to welcome this new phase in life. Not every woman undergoes IVF experiences every symptom of pregnancy after IVF. Every woman is different, and the IVF pregnancy symptoms week by week differ from one woman to another.
IVF Pregnancy Symptoms Include:
Vaginal Discharge And Spotting/Bleeding
Did you know, nearly 42% of women experience spotting or slight bleeding after IVF? The spotting is called implantation bleeding and may be brown or blackish in colour. It occurs halfway through the two-week wait. If you consider IVF pregnancy symptoms week by week, implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo attaches itself to your uterine wall.
Implantation bleeding usually happens a few days before your menstruation cycle and stops within a day or two. It does not contain any brown clots or heavy bleeding and happens when the cells from the oxygen-rich tissues start to shed during implantation.
A missed period is one of the most common IVF pregnancy symptoms. If your menstruation runs like clockwork, then a missed period is a sure sign of pregnancy. It is a sign that you must take a pregnancy test. But if you have irregular periods, missing a period could mean pregnancy, as well as other complications. Either way, you would want to consult with a specialist.
Women often feel bloated when they come close to their periods. While this symptom can be misread, it is a sure sign of pregnancy, especially when you feel bloated around the abdomen. The bloating is caused by the increase in progesterone levels that slow down the digestive tract and causes you to feel fuller and bloated, more than usual.
If you are pregnant, bloating can happen just before your menstruation date. It can also happen when you take progesterone and various other drugs during IVF and after embryo transfer. It is one of the most common IVF pregnancy symptoms after embryo transfer.
Frequent trips to the bathroom is another sign of pregnancy that one cannot miss. Late-night urge to urinate more often than before, increased need to make more pit stops, uncontrollable bladder are early signs of pregnancy that many women experience. Most times, women experience the increased urge to urinate after they miss their period. But if you need to urinate more often than before you missed your period, as unlikely as it is, it is a sign of pregnancy.
The increased need to pee results from the excess blood in the body after a successful embryo transfer. It is caused by the increase in hCG and the pregnancy hormone progesterone. But increased urination can also be a sign of other problems such as Urinary Tract Infection. If you experience fever, bleeding, nausea and vomiting, and painful urination along with an increased urge to urinate, you must consult with your primary healthcare provider.
One of the most common IVF pregnancy symptoms is how the breasts change. Most women experience sore, tender, and heavy breasts caused by progesterone hormone therapy during IVF. Breast changes are symptoms of natural pregnancy as well and are caused by the increase in hormone levels.
Swelling And Hardening Of Your Nipples
While sore, tender and heavy breasts can cause discomfort, swelling and hardening of the nipples can add more pain and discomfort. Change in nipples is a symptom that many women experience before the embryo transfer and after administering hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause liquid retention and result in a bloated and heavy feel.
While most times, the pain associated with the swelling and hardening of the nipples is addressed with paracetamol, you must consider visiting your doctor if you experience persistent pain, bleeding, and a high temperature that does not reduce with analgesics.
While some women experience implantation bleeding, others may not. But the hormonal shifts that follow can cause cramps and are called implantation cramps. These cramps are not as painful and uncomfortable as the ones you experience during your period. Mild to moderate cramps are a sign of embryo implantation, which can sometimes make you feel sick.
Cramps are a common sign of periods. But many women experience cramps when the embryo implants onto the uterine wall. Mild cramps and pelvic discomfort are very common after embryo transfer. It is caused by the ovum pick up related fluid and high doses of gonadotropins around your ovaries. It is also caused by subsequent ovarian hyper-stimulation.
Morning Sickness And Nausea
IVF pregnancy symptoms week by week differs from one woman to another. Did you know that many pregnant women do not experience nausea and morning sickness? It usually starts two weeks after the embryo transfer under IVF and is mainly experienced by women with increased levels of hormones in their body. Most times, women feel nauseated two weeks after they miss their period. It becomes more frequent with women feeling very sick. While it is one of the vital signs of IVF pregnancy, you might want to consult with your doctor if you feel more sick than usual.
Nausea and morning sickness is also experienced by women who have a natural or normal pregnancy. In the case of normal pregnancy, nausea is caused by increased levels of beta-hCG and starts two weeks after a missed period.
Dizziness And Tingling
Dizziness and tingling sensation is a very common symptom after an embryo transfer. It is caused by the ovarian stimulation that women experience, especially with IVF using their eggs. At times, they may also result from the body preparing for menstruation or as an outcome of the follicular puncture.
You may experience dizziness even when you receive eggs from a donor. The dizziness is caused by the hormone treatment that you receive. Additionally, the stress that you experience during the waiting period may also cause dizziness and a tingling feel.
Elevated temperature is a common IVF pregnancy symptom that many women experience. Your body temperature rises and increases by about a degree at conception. Most times, the temperature remains higher than normal throughout your pregnancy. If your body temperature falls, it reflects that the implantation has failed, and you may experience your periods soon.
Irrespective of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy after IVF, it is vital to remember that every woman experiences them differently. If you have not experienced any of the symptoms, it does not mean that you are not pregnant. A symptom could also mean that you are faced with a medical condition that needs immediate medical attention, such as UTI.
You must consider consulting with your doctor to confirm your pregnancy. If you are in doubt, you might want to consider making an appointment with a specialist at Ujala Cygnus Multi-Speciality Hospital near you.