Cramping After IVF: What You Should Know

By Dr. Kalan on August 28, 2019


Cramps during fertility treatmentCountless people in the greater Los Angeles, CA area have come to our practice for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler have helped these patients build families and experience the joys of parenthood.

This isn’t to say that an IVF cycle is easy and free from any issues. Patients can experience various side effects during the treatment process that they may not have been anticipating. With this in mind, we want to examine cramping during an IVF cycle and what it could mean.

Are Cramps from IVF a Bad Thing?

Not necessarily.

Cramping occurs for many patients during different stages of the IVF process. It may be a normal response to changes in hormones and the use of fertility drugs. It can also be a natural response to the process of becoming pregnant.

We do want to note that severe cramping accompanied by spotting should be a cause for concern. If you do experience such an issue or any other severe side effects during IVF treatment, it should be brought to our attention as soon as possible.

Fertility Drugs and Cramps

Fertility drugs help regulate a woman’s hormone levels so that the timing of her cycle can be precisely controlled. This increases the chances of IVF success. Cramps experienced as a result of fertility drug use are normal, and they subside as your hormone levels balance out again.

Embryo Transfer and Cramps

Cramping sometimes happens once the embryo has been transferred to mother. This is not uncommon given the nature of the procedure and the nature of embryo implantation. The cramps often feel like the cramps that women experience during their normal monthly cycle. The similarity of sensations may cause some worry that the IVF cycle did not succeed. We want to emphasize that these sensations are not a sign of success or failure, but just your body’s response to the procedure.

Post-IVF Anxiety and Cramps

One thing we’ve noticed at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center is that anxiety can lead to cramping and other side effects from treatment. After embryo transfer, patients are often anxious about the results of the IVF procedure. The official pregnancy test is two weeks later, and there are many concerns and worries that can run through a patient’s mind. These can lead to cramping, or make the natural cramping experienced seem more severe.

Just know that your anxiousness is natural and that many others have experienced just what you’re going through. Try to relax and de-stress during this period to the best of your ability. Maybe just knowing that what you’re feeling is normal can help you feel calmer and more assured.

How Long Does the Cramping Last?

Usually patients will experience cramping during IVF for a few days at a time, though it can vary from patient to patient. It is only temporary, however.

We encourage our patients to follow all of our instructions closely as these can help reduce the severity and duration of side effects. We can offer you more tips on managing cramps and other side effects during the consultation process.

Learn More About IVF Treatment

For more information about IVF, what to expect during treatment, and other common issues that arise during the treatment process, be sure to contact our skilled team of fertility specialists. You can reach the Los Angeles Reproductive Center by phone at (818) 946-8051.

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