Relieving Bloating After Egg Retrieval: Helpful Solutions

Egg retrieval plays a crucial part in vitro fertilization (IVF), helping prospective mothers struggling with fertility complications. While this procedure is a safe, standardized practice, it’s been known to come with awful temporary side effects like cramps, tenderness, and bloating. 

While these symptoms will subside on their own over time, proper IVF side effect management is important to preserve your comfort and peace of mind.

The medications given to women during IVF induce drastic hormonal changes that incite egg production, which has the side effect of causing their ovaries to enlarge. It’s also been known to induce constipation, which could be responsible for the “bloating” feeling.

These cases should resolve themselves in about a week, but if the experience is too unpleasant there are a few natural ways to provide short-term relief and minimize your discomfort. If the problem persists or worsens, book an appointment with your doctor!

Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to minimize bloating after the IVF procedure. We’ll go over a few noteworthy options for pain relief you can explore down below.

What is Egg Retrieval

doctor preserving an egg

During egg retrieval, a woman’s eggs are extracted using a thin, hollow needle. The egg samples are then fertilized with sperm in controlled laboratory conditions and eventually transferred back into the woman’s uterus.

In cases where the biological mother’s body is incapable of safely supporting a pregnancy, the couple may also opt to hire a surrogate mother to carry the baby instead.

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The extraction itself involves the needle puncturing the follicle to collect egg cells, but this is done under the influence of light to moderate anesthesia – it should be entirely painless.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more involved in IVF than the egg retrieval process.

Why Do I Feel Bloated after Egg Retrieval?

woman with stomach pain

Women undergoing IVF treatment are given medication to stimulate egg production, which has the side effect of enlarging their ovaries. This alone can result in discomfort and bloating but would only get exacerbated after egg retrieval – the follicle puncture will further agitate the already-sensitive area, making those side effects even worse.

After the egg retrieval procedure, the ovaries may remain enlarged and continue producing heightened levels of hormones for several days. Prospective mothers are also given other medications to help prepare their bodies to support a pregnancy, which compounds this issue.

These symptoms normally subside after a few days, after the medications used for IVF treatment fully pass through a patient’s system.

Their swollen ovaries will gradually shrink back to their original size, but the afflicted individuals will still experience discomfort and bloating in the meantime.

If you’re experiencing bloating and significant pain after IVF, don’t worry – you still have plenty of ways to mitigate these side effects and get a much-needed reprieve. A lot of these remedies offer immediate or short-term relief, so you won’t have to suffer in this situation for long!

How to Reduce Bloating After Egg Retrieval

woman sleeping

While the reason behind your case may be specific to your situation, bloating is a common issue many people encounter. Unless the root of your problem is clinical in nature, most “normal” remedies should help reduce bloating after egg retrieval. We’ll go over a few methods worth trying out, and hope that at least a few of them make your experience more bearable!

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Egg retrieval may not be too invasive a procedure, but all those medications are liable to take a toll on your body. Getting some rest for a couple of days is an excellent way to promote healing, reduce inflammation, and minimize any further agitation.

The hormone treatments – specifically the ones used to stimulate egg production – have also been found to induce constipation as a common side effect, which may be the cause of your bloating. You can mitigate this by drinking plenty of fluids and switching to a fiber-rich diet.

A warm compress will provide great short-term relief from bloating, as it relaxes muscles and increases blood circulation. Be sure to apply the warm compress on your abdomen for at least ten to fifteen minutes. Please note that a cold compress would do the opposite, causing these muscles to tense up and make your bloating situation even more unpleasant!

For some mothers, the experience may be overwhelming enough to warrant painkillers. Always consult with your doctor before taking pain medication – even over-the-counter ones!

Aspirin is normally fine, but taking it while undergoing IVF blocks prostaglandin production, which will disrupt uterine lining development and embryo implantation. Tylenol is considered a safer alternative for pain relief, as it doesn’t interfere with prostaglandin production or enable further bleeding – but even then, make sure to get your doctor’s approval first.

If your symptoms continue or even worsen, home remedies won’t cut it. Get in touch with your healthcare provider the moment your situation feels like it’s getting out of hand!

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Final Thoughts

Bloating is a common problem for people undergoing IVF and tends to be at its worst after egg retrieval. While the problem should solve itself with time as the drugs leave your system, prospective mothers can reduce bloating after egg retrieval through a variety of natural means. If the problem persists despite those measures, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor!