Symptoms and sensations after the embryo transfer: what do they mean?

Published: 7 March 2014|Last updated: 22 July 2020|About Assisted Reproduction.|

After the transfer it is normal to take greater notice of your body than you usually do, but not everything that occurs has a specific meaning

Once the embryo has been transferred, it is necessary to wait for two weeks before the pregnancy test. During this time, it is completely natural for the woman to take note of all the changes in her body. This is a time when one’s emotions start to become very intense and the slightest suspicion regarding a specific symptom will cause anxiety: does it mean something is wrong? Dr. Marta Trullenque, a member of our medical team, offers a response.

“Above all, it’s very important to remember that no symptoms exist that signify anything in particular”, says Dr. Trullenque. “Obviously, profuse, continuous bleeding which appears similar to menstruation might indicate that the pregnancy has not come to term but the other symptoms have no clear significance”, she adds.

The most common physical symptoms

Bleeding: spotting –in all cases with less quantities of blood than during menstruation- after the embryo transfer is normal and usually disappears in two or three days. This is generally due to the tube passing through the cervix. If these symptoms occur, there is no need to be afraid, they are complete normal.

Dizziness, tingling, wind or abdominal and lumbar pain: these symptoms are quite normal after an embryo transfer. They are largely due to the ovarian stimulation that has been performed on the woman, particularly in cases of in vitro fertilisation using her eggs. They may also appear as a result of the follicular puncture or preparation for menstruation. In the event of receiving eggs from a donor, the dizziness may be due to the hormone treatment. Furthermore, the stress generated during this waiting time may also be responsible for the dizziness.

Swelling and hardening of the nipples: this is a common symptom after administering hormones before the embryo transfer, specifically oestrogen and progesterone. Both may cause liquid retention and a bloated, heavy sensation.

“In the presence of this type of discomfort and pain”, says Dr. Trullenque, “analgesics such as paracetamol can be administered”. “They are safe and will help you feel better”, she adds. It is only necessary to visit the doctor in the event of profuse bleeding, a high temperature (above 38 degrees) or persistent pain that does not disappear with analgesics.


The most habitual sensations

Apart from physical symptoms the wait after the embryo transfer also takes a toll on the woman’s emotions. Nervousness, anxiety, insomnia or a feeling of instability caused by the process and its result may develop at this time.

“This waiting period of 14 days is an intense time in terms of emotions” says Dr. Trullenque. “We usually recommend that our patients keep their minds occupied, lead a completely normal life and avoid important physical effort”, she adds. “It is sometimes worthwhile remembering that if the pregnancy were achieved using natural methods, the woman would not change her lifestyle until she knew that she was pregnant”.

Absolute rest is not advisable, but it is necessary to avoid intense exercise and activities that cause jolting such as running or aerobics. “What is most important is for the woman to do things that will take her mind off what is happening and make her feel good”, says Dr. Trullenque.

In the event of experiencing profound anxiety, natural products can be administered such as valerian root or Bach Flowers to make it easier to face this waiting period. “The best thing is to lead a normal life, in order to face the days that will follow the transfer with abundant energy and natural optimism”, concludes the doctor.

You may also be interested in reading: Leading a normal life after an embryo transfer

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