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Spotting After IVF: Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

By HCRM on December 27, 2017


A woman on the porchPeople in the Omaha, NE area can count on the fertility specialists at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine. Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), couples experiencing male, female, and mixed infertility can finally become pregnant and start a family of their own.

It's important that IVF patients be aware of the side effects associated with the procedure. Spotting is one of these potential side effects, and it may occur at different times during treatment. Let's take a moment to consider how common spotting is during IVF, what causes it, and whether or not it should be a point of concern for patients.

How Common Is Spotting During IVF Treatment?

Spotting is a relatively common part of the IVF process, and one of many common side effects that patients experience during an IVF cycle. Cramping, for instance, is another common side effect of IVF procedures.

It's estimated that between 7 percent to 42 percent of IVF patients experience some amount of spotting or light bleeding during different stages of IVF.

When Does Spotting Happen During the IVF Process?

There are a few moments of the IVF cycle during which spotting is common:

  • After egg retrieval
  • After embryo transfer
  • During the luteal phase

Is Spotting Good or Bad?

Spotting on its own is not necessarily good or bad. As noted above, it's somewhat common among patients going through IVF.

With that in mind, however, it's important that you report any bleeding or spotting to your fertility specialist so they are aware of what you are experiencing. Any other symptoms during IVF should also be discussed with your fertility specialist, such as cramping, changes in temperature, and so forth. Being in tune with your body and communicating that to your fertility specialist can help the doctor determine if things are fine or if an issue requires additional attention.

Implantation Spotting

Implantation spotting is one possible cause of spotting during an IVF cycle. This refers to the two-week period after embryo transfer. During this time, the embryo is in the process of attaching itself to the lining of the uterine wall. Some of the lining may shed, causing spotting to occur. This could be an early sign of pregnancy.

Spotting from Extra Progesterone

The use of vaginal progesterone suppositories may be another cause of spotting during the IVF cycle. During IVF, women may be given vaginal progesterone suppositories to help prepare the uterus to receive an embryo. These vaginal suppositories could cause your cervix to become extra sensitive. This may result in light bleeding, particularly if you engage in sexual intercourse at some point during the cycle.

When Should I Report Spotting to a Fertility Specialist?

As noted above, checking in with your fertility specialist in the event of light spotting is normal and encouraged just to get a professional opinion on the matter. In most cases of light spotting, the situation is normal and expected.

Any heavy bleeding that's accompanied by severe cramping should be a point of some concern. This is something that you should bring to your fertility specialist's attention as soon as possible. By getting the issue monitored in a timely manner, you can get the answers and attention you need.

Learn More About IVF

For more information about IVF and whether or not it's right for you, be sure to contact an experienced fertility treatment specialist today. The team at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine will offer advice and guidance throughout the treatment process.

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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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