Should I Expect Bleeding or Spotting after IVF?
Many people who struggle with infertility turn to IVF to help them achieve their dreams of conceiving a child. IVF involves retrieving a woman’s eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them in a laboratory setting, and then transferring healthy embryos directly into the uterus.
IVF has a high rate of success for our patients from Encino, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, at Los Angeles Reproductive Center. However, since IVF patients have previously struggled to become pregnant, many are anxious about treatment and any potential sign of complication. As such, we get many questions about bleeding or spotting after IVF, and whether it is a normal side effect of treatment.
Will I Experience Bleeding or Spotting after IVF?
Everyone responds to IVF treatment differently. Since no two bodies are exactly the same, we cannot tell a woman for certain if she will experience bleeding or spotting after IVF.
Many women go through all the stages of IVF without experiencing any bleeding. Having said that, many others do notice light bleeding or spotting after certain phases of IVF treatment. If a woman notices that she has some light bleeding throughout the IVF process, it should not be an immediate cause for concern.
When May I Experience Bleeding or Spotting?
There are several stages of IVF treatment that are somewhat invasive. Just as some women experience light spotting after undergoing a routine pelvic exam, it is possible for patients to experience bleeding after certain phases of IVF treatment. Bleeding and spotting are most likely following these stages of treatment:
- Ovarian stimulation: During the early stage of IVF treatment, fertility medication will be used to stimulate the ovaries. As hormone levels change, women may experience light bleeding or spotting, just as they may in the days leading up to their period.
- Egg retrieval: During egg retrieval, a needle and catheter are passed through the vaginal wall so that mature eggs can be collected from the uterus. This procedure can result in several side effects, including cramping, soreness, and light bleeding.
- Embryo transfer: When embryos are transferred to the uterus, a catheter is passed through the cervical opening into the uterus. As with the egg retrieval process, this stage of treatment is likely to cause some mild discomfort and cramping. It is also not uncommon for women to experience some light bleeding in the days after this procedure.
Do I Need to Report Bleeding or Spotting?
In most cases, bleeding and spotting are not a cause for concern and do not need to be reported to our doctors. We do urge women to monitor bleeding so that if potential signs of complications develop, they can be reported as soon as possible. Bleeding or spotting should be reported if:
- It lasts for more than a few days
- The bleeding is heavy
- It is accompanied by severe discomfort, nausea, or cramping
If you would like more information about the IVF process, our experienced team of doctors at Los Angeles Reproductive Center would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can schedule a personal consultation to discuss your concerns by calling (818) 208-5481.