IVF Medications and Fatigue: What to Know Beforehand
Undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization) is considered a big medical and financial decision for many couples. Knowing what to expect beforehand can help you in making your decision and provide clarity throughout the process. Our doctors at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine in Omaha, NE will take the time to explain IVF treatment, medications required, and side effects you may experience.
IVF medications and fatigue tend to go hand-in-hand and are a normal part of the process. Explained below is how to combat the fatigue and any other side effects you may experience when taking IVF medications.
Why IVF Medications Are Necessary
At the beginning of treatment, you will be placed on specific hormone inducing medications to assist your body in producing viable eggs for the retrieval process, as well as to create a balanced uterine environment for implantation. Some of the most common medications include:
- FSH and Luteinizing Hormone (LH): To stimulate the ovaries in producing a healthy number of eggs for the retrieval process.
- Ganirelix: To prevent the body from releasing the eggs before the retrieval process.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) or Leuprolide-Acetate: To trigger egg maturation for the egg retrieval.
- Progesterone and Estrogen: To create a healthy uterine lining and support embryo implantation.
Each of these medications will assist your body and are necessary to the IVF process. Dosages will differ for each patient, but will be carefully calculated to your unique situation. Throughout the duration of receiving these medications, your doctor will be carefully monitoring your body and side effects to make sure it is responding as it should.
Fatigue and Other IVF Side Effects
As with any medications, there are certain side effects that can occur when taking IVF medications. Fatigue is often the number one complaint, but is completely normal. We encourage our patients to rest as much as possible during the IVF cycle so their body is well rested for implantation and pregnancy. Other side effects are similar to PMS or menstruation and can include:
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
While it may be tempting to take over-the-counter medications and supplements to ease your side effects, it is imperative that you speak to your fertility specialist before taking anything. Certain medications and supplements can interfere negatively with your IVF cycle and result in complications.
Tips for Managing Your Fatigue
Following the below tips may help with managing your fatigue and lack of energy:
- Rest: Get plenty of sleep each night. Some patients find that taking naps during the day can help combat midday fatigue.
- Prepare: The total IVF cycle is only a few weeks long. We advise our patients to prepare their home by doing as much laundry, major housework, and grocery shopping in advance while they feel good.
- Ask for Help: Don’t be afraid to have a friend or loved one come over and assist with housework and other tasks if you are unable to do so. It’s important that you don’t overdo it on the activity.
Your doctor will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process and provide tips for handling your side effects.
If you are interested in learning more about IVF and how it may benefit your family, we invite you to meet with one of our fertility specialists. Please contact our office online or give us a call at 877-831-3227.