A woman’s body preparing or getting ready for welcoming a pregnancy is one of nature’s most beautiful example of the sustenance of life. An embryo transfer happens to be the last and most crucial step of the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). During this process an embryo or embryos is placed in the uterus of the future mother with the help of a transfer cannula. An ultrasound scan can guide the safe placing to guarantee the success of the embryo transfer.
It will take another 14 days after the embryo transfer to ascertain if the outcome is positive and if the conception has occurred. Owing to the hormonal treatment that is part of the IVF process some women may begin to experience symptoms similar to that of pregnancy. It is important that the woman is not left in the dark when it comes to understanding signs of a positive embryo transfer.
Increased vaginal discharge – In the days after the embryo transfer has been completed there can be abundant vaginal discharge. The discharge is mainly the consequence of the changes in the woman’s hormonal levels and the progesterone administered vaginally. This helps to maintain the endometrium in an optimal state to support the embryo implantation.
Vaginal bleeding or spotting – The initial spotting may be due to the vaginal progesterone applicators that touch the very sensitive ectocervix. Spotting seen will usually disappear 2 or 3 days after the embryo transfer is performed. Halfway through the 14 days wait implantation bleeding can occur due to the embryo getting implanted onto the uterine wall.
Breast changes – Following embryo transfer, the hormones that were administered can cause harder than normal, swollen or tender breasts, or tingling in nipples or even darkening of areolas.
Fatigue – The increased levels of progesterone that is required to maintain the lining of the uterus where the embryo implants can cause excessive tiredness and fatigue. After an IVF process progesterone supplements may be prescribed to help maintain the lining. The hormone can increase the metabolism which in turn zaps the body’s energy levels.
Elevated temperature called an implantation dip –The basal body temperature in women increases about 1 degree at conception and remains high throughout pregnancy. If the implantation hasn’t happened then this could lead to the body temperature dipping.
Nausea – The hormones administered as part of IVF can cause a feeling of nausea and this can sometimes be confused for pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy, nausea is due to the increasing levels of beta-hCG and this is likely in IVF cases too.
Frequent urination – The hCG pregnancy hormone injected during IVF. This hormone increases in blood and urine right after embryo implantation, so the determination of hCG can confirm pregnancy. The hormone can also lead to increased urination.
Pins and needles, dizziness, and pain in the abdominal and lower back – These symptoms are the result of by the hormones of ovarian stimulation or endometrial preparation. Certain discomfort and pain can also be caused by the follicular puncture process itself. Mild cramps and pelvic discomfort may also be seen after embryo transfer due to the high doses of gonadotropins and ovum pick up related fluid around ovaries.
Absence of menstruation is probably the most obviously seen sign of a positive embryo transfer. But in some women apart from the usual signs there can also be some rare symptoms like insomnia, appetite loss, constipation, bloated belly or even headache.
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