The decision to undergo IVF is an emotional one. Even more nerve-wracking is the waiting that must be endured after the embryo is transferred. Patients often become overly focused on any symptoms they may experience.
Many women who experience spotting after IVF assume the worst. However, there are many reasons for this to occur. At The Center for Assisted Reproduction in Dallas, TX, Dr. Kevin Doody offers various infertility treatments, including IVF, and can help you understand more about exactly what happens following your treatment.
Spotting after Egg Collection
In order to retrieve the eggs, your doctor must use a needle, which is inserted through the vaginal wall. For this reason, spotting or light bleeding following egg collection is common. Typically, it is short-lived and minimal. In rare cases, excessive bleeding can occur. If this happens, it is important to inform your doctor right away.
Spotting after Embryo Transfer
Some women experience light bleeding or spotting following the embryo transfer. This is often quite alarming, and many women become worried that something is wrong.
However, this can happen in many cases, especially if your doctor had to manipulate your cervix during implantation. This can even occur under normal circumstances, and is oftentimes referred to as an implantation bleeding. Spotting of this type typically comes from the mouth of the uterus, and will have no negative effect on the development of your embryos.
Spotting during the Luteal Phase
Women can also experience light spotting later on, during the luteal phase. This can be accompanied by cramping or a feeling of “heaviness” in the pelvic area up to 10 days after egg collection. Additionally, spotting can sometimes be caused by vaginal progesterone suppositories, which can cause excessive cervical sensitivity.
Spotting Is Not Always Bad
It is important to understand that spotting does not necessarily indicate that the IVF has failed. Light spotting and brown discharge can occur during the first two weeks and beyond. Try to remember that your uterus is undergoing changes due to your medications and your embryo.
Generally speaking, the only bleeding that should be a cause of concern is heavy bleeding, comparable to your period or more. Should heavy bleeding occur, it could indicate that no implantation has occurred, and your period is beginning. In other cases, it could be an early miscarriage.
Testing Progesterone Levels
If you notice anything that concerns you, particularly heavy bleeding, you should consult with your doctor to see what your next step should be. Although the first early pregnancy ultrasound is not performed until about four or five weeks after your embryo transfer, your progesterone levels can still be tested. If your levels are low, the dosage can be increased.
Learn More about Infertility Treatments
If you are considering undergoing infertility treatment such as IVF, schedule a visit with Dr. Doody at The Center for Assisted Reproduction. If you have recently undergone IVF, and you have questions about your current cycle, reach out to a team member. We are always here to address any concerns you may have throughout the duration of your treatment. You can contact us online anytime, or call our office at (817) 540-1157.