Dec 24

Spotting after IVF – San Antonio, TX

Spotting after IVF: Should you be Concerned?

Posted on December 24, 2017 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

Infertility is a condition that affects roughly one in ten couples who are trying to conceive. At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, we offer solutions for those who have struggled to become pregnant naturally. The most popular fertility treatment offered at our practice is IVF. IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a multi-step process that assists patients throughout every stage of conception. IVF begins with ovarian stimulation and progresses all the way through to embryo implantation. IVF has helped countless couples finally achieve their dream of parenthood. Although IVF has such a high rate of success, it can be an anxious process to go through. Our fertility specialists prepare patients for what to expect throughout IVF treatment so that they feel more comfortable with treatment.

Female patient

A common concern for many women who have undergone IVF is spotting. When a woman is trying to become pregnant, even the smallest sign of bleeding tends to cause concern. Here we go over the likelihood of spotting after IVF so that our San Antonio, TX patients know when they should and should not be alarmed about how their treatment is progressing.

How Common is Spotting After IVF?

Most women who are undergoing IVF treatment are doing so after many failed attempts at a natural pregnancy. Given the struggles they have already been through, it is understandable that IVF patients are likely to be sensitive to any potential sign of concern during IVF treatment. Patients should be assured that light spotting is pretty common after the various stages of IVF treatment. It is difficult to gather exact statistics because not all women report spotting to their doctors. However, data suggests that up to 42 percent of IVF cycles do involve some light bleeding or spotting.

When is Spotting Most Common?

There are several stages of IVF treatment that may trigger spotting in patients. Some women will experience spotting early on, during hormone treatment. This is most likely in women who are using vaginal progesterone suppositories. These suppositories can make the cervix particularly sensitive, so a woman may notice spotting after sexual intercourse. This should not interfere with IVF treatment in any way.

Another stage of IVF treatment that may result in spotting is the egg retrieval process. During egg retrieval, a needle attached to a catheter will be inserted through the vaginal wall. The catheter will be used to collect mature eggs. After egg retrieval is complete it is common for the patient to experience mild side effects, which include soreness, mild cramping, and light spotting. These symptoms should clear up within a few days.

It is also typical for women to experience spotting after embryo transfer. Spotting may occur immediately or a few weeks after the procedure. Many women believe that spotting that occurs a couple of weeks after the embryo transfer is a sign of implantation, but the truth is that light bleeding after an embryo transfer is likely to be neither a good or bad indicator of the success of treatment.

When to be Concerned

Although light spotting is normal after IVF, women should monitor bleeding to ensure it is not a sign of complications. If spotting does not clear up within a few days, if bleeding is heavy, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as severe cramping or nausea, it should be reported to our doctors right away. In cases such as these, it is important to examine the patient and rule out any complications.

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If you are interested in learning more about the IVF process, or any other fertility services offered at the Fertility Center of San Antonio, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Our experienced team of doctors looks forward to meeting you!

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