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IVF and Nausea

By Dr. Kalan on November 29, 2019

A woman with stomach crampsNausea is sometimes a part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process. As your hormones go through a number of changes, you may feel nausea and experience other kinds of side effects during the treatment process. This is normal, and Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan will take time to go over all side effects during various stages of treatment during your consultation process.

The teams at our Los Angeles, Encino, and Bakersfield, CA fertility clinics would like to go over the reasons why nausea occurs during IVF treatment. We’ll also offer some advice on controlling nausea when it happens.

Nausea Due to Fertility Drugs

Many patients experience nausea because of the fertility drugs they’re taking. Fertility medication is essential for altering hormone levels and ensuring optimal timing during different stages of IVF treatment. Nausea is common with two fertility drugs in particular:

  • Clomiphene Citrate - Also known under the brand names Clomid and Serophene, clomiphene is a selective estrogen inhibitor that helps trigger the release of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone). Clomiphene is essential for stimulating the ovaries and producing healthy, viable eggs.
  • hCG Injection - The hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injection is also known as the “trigger shot.” This fertility drug helps with the final maturation of the eggs and their release from the ovary follicles. This shot is typically administered 36 hours before egg retrieval, which is then followed by fertilization in the lab.

These drugs are taken during the initial stimulation of eggs, which is why women may experience nausea as part of this phase of IVF treatment.

Nausea After Embryo Transfer

The fertilized egg will be transferred to the mother’s uterus or the uterus of a surrogate who carries the baby to term. Nausea may occur after this has happened. Sometimes it’s due to residual effects from the fertility medication. Other times, the nausea is the first indication of successful pregnancy.

Two weeks after embryo transfer, we’ll be able to officially confirm if a patient is pregnant, so your experience with nausea may just be your body beating us to the news.

Tips for Dealing with Nausea During IVF

The best way to deal with nausea during the IVF process is to speak with your fertility specialist about any issues you’re experiencing. It’s also important that you follow our instructions for dosage and aftercare. While you will still experience nausea, our care advice will help mitigate serious nausea and other side effects.

If you do experience nausea, we recommend the following tips:

  • Sip ice-cold water
  • Eat light, bland foods (saltines, plain bread)
  • Avoid sweets and greasy foods
  • Savor your food and take small bites
  • Do not mix foods of different temperatures
  • Avoid strenuous activity after meals or snacks
  • Take a moment to rest and compose yourself

When You Should Call Your Fertility Doctor

If your nausea doesn’t subside, becomes worse, or accompanies other side effects, it’s important that you contact our fertility center as soon as possible. We can determine if this is just a severe adverse reaction to fertility medications/treatment or if you are experiencing a serious complication.

Contact the Los Angeles Reproductive Center

If you would like more information about the side effects of IVF and how it address them, be sure to contact a skilled fertility specialist. You can reach our offices in Los Angeles and Encino by calling (818) 208-5481, our office in Thousand Oaks by calling (805) 427-2959, and our office in Bakersfield by calling (661) 889-5173.

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