side effects after egg retrieval3

Life is beautiful. But sometimes, it doesn’t happen as easily as it should. For women experiencing fertility issues, the idea of undergoing countless procedures in an attempt to conceive may seem uncertain, and at times, scary. You may have heard strange tales about the side effects after egg retrieval and decided not to pursue it.

Fortunately, egg retrieval, which is done during a vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, is esteemed as an effective way to help women conceive. Sometimes, conception comes easily. For others, a little interference may be warranted — and that’s completely okay. In today’s world, women are fortunately able to conceive even when reproductive issues or fertility problems try to stand in the way.

But what can you expect when having an IVF procedure and what are some of the side effects after egg retrieval? Below, we’ll outline what you can expect during — and after — this procedure so that you can better prepare yourself for the aftermath.

What’s Egg Retrieval?

During the procedure, a surgeon will retrieve your eggs by inserting a needle into the vaginal wall through the ovaries. Once the needle is in place, it’ll carefully pierce follicles and suction the fluid into a needle which will eventually transfer to a tube. The entire process of extracting the eggs takes under an hour, and the patient is free to return home a few hours after her surgery.

The procedure is often deemed quick, easy and relatively pain-free due to the lack of feeling a woman experiences due to being under anesthesia. However, as with any other surgery, it’s likely that you’ll feel some side effects in the days following your egg retrieval. Below, we’ll outline these potential symptoms.

Side Effects After Egg Retrieval Procedures

If it wasn’t enough to experience the challenges of infertility, you might also have to prepare for the complications associated with fertility treatments, too. But while the occurrence of minor side effects after egg retrieval is common, it, fortunately, isn’t impossible to keep them under control.

Do you know which side effects after egg retrieval you can expect? Here’s a look at 4 common symptoms of an egg retrieval surgery and how you can reduce and keep these side effects at bay.


If you’re having a hard time going to the bathroom after your egg retrieval procedure, your afternoon lunch may not be to blame. One of the most common side effects after egg retrieval surgeries that women often report feeling is constipation.

Be sure to load up on water and electrolytes while taking a stool softener as needed, too. If you’re upping your fluid intake and continue to experience difficulties in the bathroom, consider adding a fiber or flax supplement to your diet, also.

Bloating and Cramping

No, it’s not your period — it may just be the aftermath of an egg retrieval procedure instead. Because your ovaries become enlarged after the embryo transfer, it’s not uncommon to feel mild to moderate cramping after you leave the hospital.

Since a needle is used to collect tissue on the vaginal wall and ovaries, many women may experience the discomfort from this procedure when they wake up from the anesthesia. The use of added hormones can create bloating, too.

To manage these symptoms, use a heating pad to alleviate any discomfort or aching you may feel. Remember to stay hydrated to prevent any further cramping, too.

Breast Tenderness

Before a woman has an egg retrieval surgery, it’s likely that she’ll take hormonal medications that’ll stimulate her ovaries. While this action can help increase her chances of getting pregnant, it may produce some adverse effects, too.

For many women, the rapidly changing hormone levels coupled with the formation of dense tissue can create sore or tender breasts. After your procedure, be sure to wear a supportive bra to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your chest. To reduce inflammation or pain, consider taking a Tylenol if the pain doesn’t ease up after a few hours, too.

Passing Discharge

After a woman receives an IVF, or egg retrieval procedure, it’s not uncommon to pass small amounts of watery fluid. Because a doctor will swab the cervix before retrieving the eggs, this discharge can get left behind. While it’s often clear, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience bloody discharge, either. This side effect will likely resolve itself shortly after the procedure.

Remember not to strain yourself in the days following your surgery since excessive strain can provoke more irritation on the cervix. If you continue to experience bloody or clear discharge in the days following your egg retrieval, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist in case there may be another issue at play.

Remember that no two women are alike, which means their side effects after the same procedure are likely to differ, too. While this process may seem taxing and the side effects a minor inconvenience, keep your spirits high and your body in top shape for your future anticipated conception.

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