Jan 31 2017

IVF and Cramping: Is It Cause for Concern?


A woman clutching her belly during IVF treatment due to crampingAt The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Janelle Dorsett and her team of fertility specialists provide patients who undergo in vitro fertilization, or IVF, with a thorough education about the treatment during their consultations. It is important that patients know what to expect from IVF before they commit to treatment. Struggling with infertility is stressful enough; the anxiety of not knowing whether fertility treatment will be successful can be overwhelming for some patients. Patient education, combined with compassionate guidance throughout the IVF process, can go a long way toward keeping that anxiety in check.

The greatest fear of any IVF patient is that she will have her period during treatment, the definitive signal that IVF was not successful in her case, at least this time around. Many IVF patients therefore quite understandably panic if they start to experience cramps during treatment. In discussing the issue of IVF and cramping during consultations at her Lubbock, TX fertility clinic, however, Dr. Dorsett helps to calm patients’ anxieties in advance by informing them that cramping during IVF is not unusual. It should not generally be taken as a sign that the treatment has failed - or, for that matter, succeeded.

Why Does Cramping Occur during IVF?

For most women, cramping is a sign of an oncoming period. It is therefore understandable that cramping would be a worrisome event during IVF. However, unless cramping is severe or accompanied by at least moderate bleeding (as opposed to light spotting, which is also common during IVF), it is almost certainly not a bad sign.

During IVF, your reproductive organs will be put through quite a lot. Every phase of IVF, from fertility drug therapy to egg retrieval and embryo transfer, can cause minor to moderate cramping. Your ovaries will be extremely sensitive, and possibly somewhat swollen, during this time, so at least some cramping should be anticipated. Not all IVF patients will experience cramping, but all should be aware of the possibility.

In most cases, cramping during IVF will cause no more than moderate discomfort, which can generally be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is more than moderate or cannot be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers, then Dr. Dorsett should be contacted immediately.

If cramping during IVF is severe, or if it is accompanied by moderate to heavy bleeding, then you should contact The Centre for Reproductive Medicine right away, as well. These could be signs of IVF failure as well as conditions such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, ovarian torsion, pelvic infection, or ovarian hemorrhage. These conditions, although rare, are serious and require immediate medical intervention.

Learn More about IVF and Cramping

The more you know about your body and the IVF process, the more comfortable you will feel once you start undergoing your fertility treatments. If you are struggling to become pregnant and you would like to explore your fertility treatment options, including in vitro fertilization, we urge you to schedule your initial appointment with Dr. Janelle Dorsett at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine today.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212