In vitro fertilization (IVF) begins with ovulation induction for enhancing fertility. Fertility medications to promote normal ovulation are administered via injections in your lower abdomen. Any discomfort experienced by these injections is minimal and mostly depends on your tolerance of needles and injections. IVF medications may cause some side effects ranging from period-like cramping, nausea and bloating. Side effects are not painful and generally subside within a few days. In addition, women having intrauterine insemination (IUI) may also need ovulation induction drugs before undergoing this procedure.
Is There Pain During Egg Retrieval?
When eggs have developed in the ovaries, your fertility doctor will retrieve these eggs during a minimally invasive procedure using an ultrasound probe. This probe is equipped with a very thin needle that quickly aspirates egg follicles and fluid from your ovaries. Light anesthesia is administered to patients intravenously to sedate them. Although you are not completely unconscious during this procedure, you won’t remember or feel anything. Some women may experience cramping for one or two days after an egg retrieval procedure.
What Happens During the Embryo Transfer Stage of IVF?
Transferring embryos to the uterus is less invasive than egg retrievals. Most women report this procedure feeling like a pap smear or vaginal ultrasound. You remain awake during the embryo stage and can watch the procedure take place on the ultrasound screen. Although embryo transfers are not painful, your doctor may give you an oral sedative to relax your cervix. Abdominal cramping is the only side effect of an embryo transfer.
Dealing with IVF Discomfort
If you are sensitive to injections and cramping, you can take Tylenol to relieve discomfort. Avoid using ibuprofen to relieve discomfort due to possible gastrointestinal side effects. Lying down and resting if you have difficulty tolerating cramps can help relieve abdominal discomfort. Your doctor will be happy to discuss your concerns about IVF discomfort during your fertility evaluation appointment.
Call New York Reproductive Wellness today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our assisted reproductive technologies.