You may have questions about symptoms during pregnancy when you decide to get pregnant through IVF. Due to the medication involved in the treatment, you may wonder whether IVF pregnancy symptoms are the same as natural pregnancy or if they are more severe.
You don’t have to worry. The symptoms of IVF pregnancy are almost the same as natural pregnancy. The intensity and duration of each symptom may differ for each woman, and not all of them experience these symptoms.
However, there are some common symptoms that all pregnant women experience during their gestation period. In this article, we have discussed all the symptoms you may experience during certain weeks of your pregnancy.
First two weeks after IVF pregnancy symptoms
The first two weeks are the crucial period where you can determine whether or not the IVF cycle was successful. The symptoms you experience during this stage are almost the same as those of natural pregnancy.
The major distinction is that women with natural pregnancy may not be aware of the symptoms until over a month. This is because most women don’t expect pregnancy to occur. It will be a delightful surprise for them.
You, on the other hand, have undergone IVF and are expecting the results. Thus, when you feel the changes in your body, you can understand that they indicate pregnancy.
Early IVF pregnancy symptoms
These early pregnancy symptoms are an indication that your body is changing to adapt to a new phase in life. Below are some early pregnancy symptoms women experience after a successful embryo transfer.
1. Abdominal cramps
Abdominal cramps, also called implantation cramps, are caused due to the hormonal changes that occur when the embryo implants in the uterus. They are just mild to moderate cramps and will not be as painful as your period cramps.
These cramps are a sign that the embryo has successfully implanted in the uterine lining. You might also feel sick or experience some pelvic discomfort during the process.
These cramps are caused by the progesterone and fertility medications you take during the first two weeks of pregnancy. It is also caused by ovarian hyper-stimulation as a result of fertility medication.
2. Changes in breasts
Breast changes are a common symptom of pregnancy, be it IVF or natural. Your breasts need to get ready to produce milk for your babies. So, the changes in hormonal levels cause them to become sore, tender, and heavy.
These changes may also occur due to the progesterone hormones that are administered during IVF.
You might also feel that your nipples are swelling and hardening. This can cause some pain and discomfort. This is also caused due to the progesterone administered before embryo transfer, which causes liquid retention in the nipples.
You can try taking paracetamol or visiting your doctor if these issues don’t lessen over time.
3. Light bleeding or spotting
Light bleeding or spotting is a brownish or blackish discharge and is common during IVF. This happens sometime in between the two weeks you wait after embryo transfer.
Almost half of the women who underwent IVF experience this when the embryo implants in the uterus, often accompanied by abdominal cramps.
4. Missed periods
It is natural for you to miss periods during your pregnancy period. If you have never missed your period before, you can take your missing period as a sign of your pregnancy.
If you have irregular periods, missed periods may denote pregnancy or be due to some other health condition. Either way, it is better to consult your IVF doctor.
Remember that these symptoms don’t guarantee your pregnancy. Visit your fertility doctor and have a checkup to confirm your pregnancy. You should be able to tell if the IVF cycle was successful in these two weeks.
Two to eight weeks after IVF pregnancy symptoms
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you might start experiencing some symptoms like morning sickness, cramps, nausea, etc.
You should also start taking some safety measures to sustain your pregnancy and take it to full term. Just because the pregnancy is confirmed doesn’t mean you can be carefree. IVF pregnancy needs close attention from the start to the end.
Constantly monitor the changes in your body and take extra care when doing things. Go for regular checkups and do all the tests the doctor asks you to do. You can take ultrasounds to ensure your baby is developing healthily.
Two weeks IVF pregnancy symptoms
Your uterine lining is getting thicker during this period, so you might experience bloating and cramping in your abdomen. The bloating may be because your womb is starting to take up more space in your belly.
2. Light bleeding or spotting
Some women may experience this symptom after two weeks of embryo transfer. This means the embryo has been implanted in the uterus.
3. Mood swings
This is when you start getting mood swings due to the increase in hormonal levels in your body. You can do relaxation exercises or be with your family to make you feel better.
4. Tender breasts
Just like in the first two weeks, your breasts get ready to nourish the baby. Your breasts will become tender and grow in size due to the increased number of milk glands.
Ten weeks and beyond after IVF pregnancy
Once you cross the ten-week threshold, your pregnancy is more or less confirmed, and you can start treating it as a regular one. Your baby’s vital organs start to develop during this period. This is also the time when you have some severe symptoms.
Ten weeks IVF pregnancy symptoms
1. Morning sickness
You may experience morning sickness issues like stomach pain, nausea, etc. These symptoms will gradually decrease, but if they don’t, consult your doctor.
2. Slight weight gain
It is normal to gain some weight during pregnancy. So, there is no need to worry about it. If you want to measure the rate of your weight gain, you can get a weighing scale and record your weight gain every month.
Your body is now carrying a little bun in it. So, it is normal to be exhausted and feel like napping all the time.
4. Mood swings
This is mainly due to the hormonal changes in your body. You can get through it by being with your friends and family or getting a massage to help relax your mind and body.
Pregnancy acne is a common symptom and will most likely disappear after childbirth.
Remember that every woman experiences pregnancy differently after IVF, regardless of the signs and symptoms. It does not always mean that you are not pregnant if you do not have any of these signs.
It is better to consult your IVF doctor and prepare yourself physically and emotionally for everything you will experience during this period.
You can take your first pregnancy scan between 3 and 5 weeks of embryo transfer. This is when you can confirm whether the embryo has been implanted in the uterus or not.
Yes, it is normal for women who have successful embryo transfers to experience no signs or symptoms for the first 11 days after the transfer. The presence of symptoms does not necessarily mean that the transfer was successful.
The most challenging aspect of the cycle is the 10–14 day wait between the embryo transfer and receiving the pregnancy test results.
During ovulation stimulation and egg retrieval, you communicate regularly with your doctor and know what happens. However, after embryo transfer, you are left on your own and must wait for the results.