in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

First Signs of Pregnancy After IVF Embryo Transfer

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The first sign of early pregnancy post IVF generally appears by about two weeks post the embryo transfer. Missed period, nausea, spotting, tiredness and tender breasts are the first signs of pregnancy. Good rest, staying dehydrated and quitting smoke are some of the precautions to be taken during pregnancy.

Several assisted reproductive technologies are available to achieve a successful pregnancy for a couple that has problems with conceiving. One of these methods includes IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) where a woman's eggs are fertilized with her partner's sperm in a laboratory followed by implantation of the resulting embryo in the woman’s uterus. IVF is an alternative with high success rate; it is mostly used in cases of a blocked fallopian tube, ovulation disorder and other fertility issues. It is completely natural for a woman to take note of all the changes in her body during the first week of pregnancy. However, a woman can feel no symptoms at all even if she is pregnant. This is a time when her emotions become very intense and the slightest suspicion regarding a specific symptom may cause anxiety.

Early Signs of Pregnancy after IVF Embryo Transfer

Some of the early signs of pregnancy include the following:

1. Cramping after Embryo Transfer

Mild cramping and pelvic discomfort are very common. Many women experience neither bleeding nor cramping. While mild to moderate cramping can be normal, if cramping is severe and not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications, one should call the doctor. These conditions require immediate medical attention because they could be signs of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or ovarian torsion.

2. Nausea or morning sickness

Nausea also called morning sickness is the second most commonly reported first sign during pregnancy. Nausea typically occurs between two to eight weeks after conception.

nausea or morning sickness

3. Spotting

When the embryo implants into the uterine wall, small capillaries in its lining may be impaired and bleed. This can cause a small amount of bleeding also known as spotting. Light spotting occurs in 7 to 42 percent of IVF cycles. Another reason for spotting is progesterone supplementation via vaginal suppositories. Vaginal progesterone suppositories can cause cervix to be extra sensitive.

4. Missed periods

One of the earliest and the most significant signs of pregnancy are missed period. The medications and process of IVF make quite an impact on the reproductive organs. When fluid builds up around the ovaries it causes bloating and pelvic tenderness.

5. Changes in the Breasts

Changes in breast can be one of the IVF pregnancy symptoms. Some women who have an IVF procedure notice almost immediate breast changes. Breasts may become sore and tender while the nipples typically darken and become more sensitive to stimuli. These symptoms are prevalent about a week or two after an IVF cycle is performed provided it is successful. Sometimes progesterone hormone therapies can also lead to breast changes even if a woman is not pregnant.

6. Fatigue or tiredness

Many women report tiredness or fatigue during early pregnancy. This happens due to an increase in the levels of hormone progesterone. Progesterone aids the baby’s growth but it may also slowdown the rate of metabolism. Some women may feel exhausted throughout their pregnancy, while some do not. Fatigue and tiredness in pregnancy are most common during the first trimester. It disappears during the second trimester. Emotional changes can also contribute to decreased energy.

fatigue or tiredness

7. Frequent urination and excessive thirst

Within a week of implantation, there is a frequent urge to urinate. This happens when uterus expands and presses the bladder and increases an urge to urinate more.

8. Mood Swings

Moods swing is caused due to significant changes in hormone levels. Hormones can affect the level of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals secreted in brain that regulate mood. Mood swings are mostly experienced during the first trimester between six to ten weeks and then again in the third trimester.

9. Increased Basal Body Temperature

The BBT (basal body temperature) is high during implantation and can be a way to determine pregnancy. BBT rises at the time of ovulation due to an increase in progesterone hormone and remains elevated when implantation occurs. BBT temperature remains higher throughout the two-week wait. 

Precautions to Be Taken During Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy determine a lot about the progression of a pregnancy into later phases. Although this joyful ride is the best journey in a woman’s life, it is important to prepare her before delivery. Preparing beforehand and taking precautions during early pregnancy keep several problems at bay. Taking good care of oneself can make the first trimester stress free else it can be very stressful otherwise. Following are the common early pregnancy precautions:

1. Stay Dehydrated

Dehydration is the result of body losing water faster than taking it in. It is especially important for pregnant woman to stay well-hydrated. Water helps to form placenta, on which a baby relies on to receive nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used for forming the amniotic sac later in pregnancy. The presence of adequate water helps in regulating heat from the body. Lack of water during pregnancy can cause overheating. A clear urine color, as opposed to dark yellow, is a sign of being well-hydrated.

stay dehyderated

2. Quit Smoking and Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol during the first trimester can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) which affects the mental health and facial features of the child. Smoking significantly increases the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, various tar products, arsenic and carbon monoxide, all of which can reach the baby through the placenta. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have premature labor, low birth-weight babies and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

3. Take Prenatal Vitamins

Taking a prenatal vitamin during pregnancy is also a good idea to help cover any nutritional gaps in the mother's diet. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, iodine, iron and calcium which are critical for a woman’s healthy thyroid function. Prenatal vitamins are highly recommended by doctors before conception and during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

4. Take Enough Rest and Nurture Yourself

Have a healthy environment at home or at work and try to avoid activities that make you feel stressed. Sleeping early, a gentle massage, spending time with your near and dear ones can increase the chances of a healthy implantation and pregnancy.

Every woman experiences unique symptoms, some experience very few symptoms as compared to others. However, one of the most significant pregnancy symptoms is a delayed or missed period. Understanding the signs of pregnancy is important because each symptom may have causes other than pregnancy. Consult a doctor if bleeding or pain continues after the first trimester.

Hope you enjoyed this article and that it increased your knowledge in identifying all the necessary signs of early pregnancy, in case you are planning for IVF. For the latest fertility news, tips and updates, follow Elawoman blog. If you are looking for top-quality IVF, and ICSI treatment you can consult Ela. Elawoman can help you plan and coordinate your treatment plans, carefully guiding you through the whole process. Call us on the number +917899912611.

Dr. Chetna Jain

About The Author

Gynecologist Dr. Chetna Jain
Gurgaon

Dr. Chetna Jain is an infertility specialist and gynecologist who specializes in PCOD, Uterine Fibroid treatment, Dysmenorrhea treatment and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Dr. Chetna completed her MBBS and MS in Obstetrics and Gynecology from RNT Medical College, Udaipur in the year 1990 and 1995 respectively. Then, she got Membership of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, London (MRCOG) in the year 2003. Presently, Dr. Chetna Jain is practicing her expertise at Dr. Chetnas Clinik NEMA Healthcare, Miracles Mediclinic and Apollo Cradle Sector-14 in Gurgaon. For more information about Dr. Chetna Jain, visit elawoman.com

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Shamindra Kaisth

Dec. 10, 2018, 6:59 p.m. 4.5

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