Are There Any Side Effects of IVF Injections?

Side Effects of IVF Injections

Fertility treatments provide a wonderful opportunity for infertile couples to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. Most of these treatments are safe and they rely on cutting-edge technology to treat infertility in men and women. However, like other medical procedures, in vitro fertilization too carries some risks and there are some potential side effects. Some women notice reactions to the IVF shots or experience side effects from the embryo transfer or egg retrieval process. So, in this blog, we will outline the commonly noticeable and temporary side effects of IVF injections.

But how do you know which side effects are normal and which ones should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider? Stay tuned till the end as here you will find answers to all your questions regarding IVF side effects.

10 Possible Side Effects of IVF Injections

Before we discuss in detail about IVF shots’ side effects, we would like to mention that these are temporary and mild. So, you don’t need to be anxious as they will subside soon. Now have a look at these IVF injection side effects that you might experience after taking IVF injections:

1.      Soreness and bruising

If you are ovulating, your doctor might recommend fertility injections for stimulating the ovaries and developing quality eggs. Doctors give these injections for 10-12 days to properly stimulate the ovaries. So, you may feel pain or soreness and this is among the common side effects of IVF injections. There can also be redness or skin itching at the injection site.

To reduce the pain sensation or the bruising in a particular area, you can receive IVF injections at multiple sites on your body.

2.      Bloating

Have you been feeling bloated after you took fertility drugs? Most women experience this and the reason behind this uneasiness in the stomach is nothing but hormonal changes. As the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body fluctuate during the fertility treatment, your body ends up retaining more water. This water retention makes the belly swollen, making the person feel gassy. These two hormones play a key role in stimulating egg development and are important throughout your pregnancy.

3.      Headaches

If your head hurts immediately after you take IVF injections, it is because the fertility medication has started doing its work. While not all experience headaches, the chances of it are higher in women who have headaches when they are menstruating. However, it will go away after a few hours and to get relief, you can massage gently and stay away from the mobile/ laptop screen for a while.

4.      Nausea and vomiting

It is natural to feel nauseous as one of the effects of ivf injections. Do not panic if you vomit once or twice. However, if there is severe vomiting, it could be because of some underlying health condition or food poisoning. So, it’s better to go for a check-up.

5.      Breast tenderness

Breast tenderness can be an indication that your period are close or it could be because you took birth control pills. Many women undergoing IVF treatment have admitted that their breasts feel tender, especially during the Suppression stage. This happens because fertility drugs have female reproductive hormones. When your breasts are tender, you should not wear constricting tops or bras as your breasts will hurt.

6.      Fatigue

Feeling fatigued even after a good night’s sleep? Does it feel like you don’t have the energy to go to work? These fertility injection side effects are not rare and they will disappear after some days. As fertility drugs cause hormonal shifts, women feel more tired than usual during IVF stimulation and egg retrieval.

7.      Hot flashes

Nobody enjoys having hot flashes. However, studies have revealed that there is a connection between hot flashes and fertility treatments. Hot flashes are side effects of IVF medication and they can make you uncomfortable and disturb your sleep at night. Mindfulness and hypnotherapy are two excellent techniques to manage hot flashes without taking medicines.

8.      Increased appetite and weight gain

If you have been feeling hungrier ever since you took IVF injections, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Hormone injections impact an individual’s hunger levels. Hunger pangs and weight gain often go hand in hand, especially if you fail to resist the temptation of relishing sweets and unhealthy snacks. So, you may end up putting on a little weight which you can control by trying to eat healthy.

9.      Mood swings

Fertility treatments can affect a patient’s mind. For some women who are struggling to conceive for a long time, remaining patient throughout the course of the treatment can be frustrating. From the anticipation of holding your baby in your arms to being anxious regarding the effectiveness of the treatment – you will feel several things.

To lift your mood, spend quality time with your partner, go out for a walk, and try to keep yourself surrounded by optimistic, supportive people.

10.      Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

One of the extreme side effects of IVF stimulation is OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) and it requires immediate medical attention. If a person has many growing follicles, sometimes the fluid leaks into the abdomen. If you have mild OHSS, you can treat it at home by giving adequate rest and hydration to your body. However, some women need to be admitted to the hospital to get completely cured.

IVF Process Side Effects at Different Stages

While you may experience some or most of the above-mentioned IVF treatment injection side effects, you won’t experience all of them at the same time. Each stage of the IVF cycle is accompanied by unique symptoms. The four stages are Suppression, Stimulation, Egg Retrieval, and Embryo Transfer respectively.

Side Effects of Suppression

  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Spotting
  • Nausea

Stimulation side effects

  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Hot flashes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Discomfort at the injection site

Egg Retrieval Hormone Injection Side Effects

  • Constipation
  • Soreness
  • Spotting
  • Cramping
  • Weakness and sleepiness
  • Nausea/ vomiting

Embryo Transfer Stage Side Effects

  • Fatigue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Pain at the injection site

The Takeaway

We may conclude by saying that every woman’s journey to motherhood is unique. Once you have made up your mind to opt for fertility treatment, knowing about the side effects in advance will help you stay prepared for what lies ahead.

As far as the effects of IVF injections are concerned, you should monitor them without getting anxious and keep your fertility specialist updated. You should also stay positive and happy to ease these symptoms and increase the chances of implantation.