Dec 02 2017

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Fatigue: What Patients Should Know


Fertility specialist with a patientHere at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, we pride ourselves on our commitment to patient care. We have helped many patients in the greater Lubbock area start families of their own thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF). We have also guided patients through the process so they know precisely what to expect.

Part of our focus on patient care is paying attention to IVF side effects. There are several common once, fatigue being one of the most notable. Let's take a moment to cover the basics of IVF and then explore why women who undergo IVF inevitably experience fatigue.

About Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is an assisted-reproduction procedure that is designed to help increase the chances of successful pregnancy. It is used to overcome female-factor infertility, male-factor infertility, and mixed-factor infertility.

During IVF, a woman's eggs are harvested from her body and then fertilized in a laboratory setting. The fertilized eggs are placed in an incubator so cellular division can occur. When the embryo is ready, it is transferred to a woman's uterus to develop and be carried to term.

The Side Effects of IVF Treatment

The IVF process involves the use of fertility drugs to help regulate and control a woman's natural cycle, and to increase the chances of pregnancy once the embryo transfer is completed. As a result, the patient's hormones are altered, resulting in a number of side effects before the hormone levels return to normal. Some common side effects experienced as a result of these hormone changes include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Sore or sensitive breasts
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Fatigue as Part of IVF

In addition to the above side effects, a number of women experience fatigue during different stages of IVF treatment. The fatigue may occur during the initial use of fertility drugs to prompt ovulation. The embryo transfer process can similarly result in a number of side effects, fatigue among them. In fact, fatigue may even occur two to three weeks after the embryo transfer, serving as one of the first signs of successful pregnancy.

Whatever may trigger fatigue, it's important to note that it is natural and quite common. Many of these side effects are similar to those that occur as a result of an actual pregnancy.

Why Does Fatigue Occur During IVF?

In most patients, the primary cause of IVF-related fatigue is an increased level of progesterone in their system. During natural pregnancy, progesterone helps create and sustain the uterine lining. Following embryo transfer, progesterone levels are kept high to help increase the likelihood of successful pregnancy.

What Can Be Done to Address IVF Fatigue?

While fatigue and other IVF side effects can be a hassle, patients can often manage these issues on their own. Take a little extra time with yourself and be patient as you go through this process.

If the fatigue and other side effects become too much to bear, be sure to speak with your fertility specialist about these concerns. They can help offer advice and insight into what you're going through and help you through this process.

Learn More About IVF

For more information about IVF and how it can help you start the family you have always wanted to have, be sure to contact an experienced fertility specialist today. The team at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine will work with you every step of the way.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

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

Phone: (806) 788-1212