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How Common Is Cramping during IVF?

By HCRM on May 16, 2017


Close up of a woman’s hand on her belly, which is colored red to signify crampingAs a patient of Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC, you can expect to be treated with compassion, kindness, and respect as you attempt to introduce a precious new life into the world through in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Our fertility specialists will help to assuage your nerves by providing you with the education you need about your treatment and the facts you may not know about your body and how it works. You already have enough stress in your life. Sometimes a little knowledge can help to demystify fertility treatment and make the entire process a good deal less intimidating.

The omnipresent fear for the average IVF patient is that, at any moment, her period will strike, signaling the end of that particular IVF cycle. For this reason, many IVF patients quite reasonably start to panic whenever they experience cramps during treatment. Our fertility specialists strive to calm our patients’ anxieties in advance by discussing the issue of cramping and IVF during consultations at their Omaha, NE fertility center, informing them that cramping during IVF is a relatively common occurrence. It does not signify that IVF treatment has failed or succeeded.

Why Does Cramping Occur during IVF?

For women who are not undergoing fertility treatment, cramping is generally a sign of oncoming menstruation. It is therefore completely understandable that cramping would be a frightening event for women who are undergoing IVF. However, light to moderate cramping, even if it is accompanied by light spotting, is actually relatively common during IVF and not at all a bad sign. Patients do not need to be concerned unless the cramping becomes severe or it is accompanied by heavier bleeding.

During IVF, the reproductive organs are forced to endure a lot. From fertility drug therapy to egg retrieval and embryo transfer, each phase of IVF is capable of inducing minor to moderate cramping. During treatment, the ovaries become exceptionally sensitive and somewhat swollen, so some cramping should be anticipated. While not all IVF patients experience cramping, all patients should be prepared for the possibility.

In most cases, cramping during IVF will cause no more than moderate discomfort, which can generally be managed through over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is more than moderate or cannot be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers, then our fertility specialists should be notified right away.

If you experience severe cramping during IVF, or if it is accompanied by moderate to heavy bleeding, then you should contact Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC immediately, as well. These could be signs of IVF failure as well as conditions such as ovarian torsion, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, pelvic infection, or ovarian hemorrhage. Although these conditions are extremely rare, they are very serious and require immediate medical intervention.

Learn More about Cramping and IVF

To learn more about cramping and IVF, or to schedule your initial consultation with one of our fertility specialists, please contact Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC today.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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