During IVF, you’ll undergo an embryo transfer of a fresh or frozen embryo. The two-week wait between the transfer and when you can take a pregnancy test can feel excruciating for hopeful parents awaiting positive results. During this time, it can be common to have various side effects to no side effects at all. And undeniably, it can be stressful to wonder what every feeling means. While people can have varied symptoms that mean different things, the following offers an outline of the common symptoms you might experience after an embryo transfer that could indicate positive results.
Positive Signs After Embryo Transfer
Embryo transfers can result in various symptoms that may or may not signify a pregnancy. Yet, it’s understandable that you are looking for positive signs after an embryo transfer. It can also be very stressful every time a new symptom pops up that you might not expect. Try to remain cautiously optimistic about any symptoms during your two-week wait. In later sections of this article, we’ll explore the various symptoms you may experience after an embryo transfer.
Is It Normal To Have No Symptoms After an Embryo Transfer?
Every person is different, and it’s absolutely common for you to have zero symptoms after an embryo transfer but still have a positive pregnancy test. Many of the potential symptoms are due to the estrogen and progesterone supplements given to patients during treatment. Around 10-15% of patients don’t see any symptoms during their two-week wait. All in all, a positive pregnancy test is the only concrete way to know if your embryo transfer has been successful.
Are the Symptoms Different for a Fresh Vs a Frozen Embryo Transfer?
During the process of a fresh embryo transfer, there is a very short timeline between retrieving the egg and placing the fertilized egg back into the uterus. From the first day to the embryo transfer, the whole process can be around four to six weeks. On the other hand, a frozen embryo can be retrieved, frozen, and kept for years before implanting. Due to the advancements in freezing and thawing technology, the success rate of both types of procedures is about the same. Symptoms of each type of embryo transfer are similar but depend on the individual.
Symptoms After an Embryo Transfer
While no symptoms may occur during the two-week wait, it’s possible to feel many pregnancy-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include bleeding or spotting, cramping, bloating, sore or painful breasts, fatigue, discharge, increased urination, hot flashes, headaches, and a missed period.
Bleeding or Spotting
Implantation bleeding is typically one of the first signs of pregnancy. While many people feel immediate stress and concern about bleeding while trying to conceive, it can mean that the embryo has found its home in the uterine lining. If you’re experiencing light spotting on your toilet paper or underwear a week or so after your embryo transfer, it could certainly be a positive sign. However, this is also a common sign for the medications that are prescribed during IVF treatments. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding, be sure to immediately get in touch with your doctor.
Cramping or Bloating
Along with implantation bleeding, implantation cramping can also be common in early pregnancy. While many people associate cramping with an oncoming period, it can signify that the embryo transfer was successful. When taking progesterone during IVF treatments, mild cramping can occur. Some individuals are more sensitive and may experience cramping after any kind of pelvic procedure. Bloating may also occur as a side effect of increased progesterone. When the stomach fills out, it can be a result of the hormone taken for IVF treatments or pregnancy. If you’re experiencing extremely painful cramping, be sure to immediately get in touch with your doctor.
Sore or Painful Breasts
Some individuals experience sore or painful breasts during their menstrual cycle. It can be an early sign of both natural and IVF pregnancy. If your breasts are sore to the touch, tender, or even swollen, it could signify that the transfer was successful. However, the increased hormones from IVF treatments could be the culprit causing your breasts to feel sore.
Tired or Fatigued?
Being tired and exhausted can be a pregnancy symptom from the moment of conception as your body is undergoing considerable changes in a short period of time. With the extra hormone progesterone, you, undoubtedly, might feel more tired and fatigued than usual. Feeling exhausted can occur immediately through the IVF process when you are taking hormones, and it could possibly be a sign of pregnancy after the embryo transfer. However, it is extremely common for fertility drugs to make you feel exhausted.
If you have been taking vaginal tablets of progesterone during your IVF treatments, you may see an increase in vaginal discharge. When using vaginal capsules or suppositories, there is an increased risk of itching, discharge, burning, and yeast infections. A few different types of vaginal discharge may indicate early pregnancy.
Watery or Clear Discharge
Thin, clear discharge may be an early sign of pregnancy, but it can also signify hormone imbalance, stress, or other factors.
White, mild-smelling discharge is commonly considered an indicator of early pregnancy. It can also be a sign of hormone imbalance or increased stress.
Mucus-like discharge is standard in the first trimester of pregnancy. The increased hormones in the body and blood flow to the reproductive organs can result in a thick, pale yellow, or white discharge. This kind of discharge could be an indication of pregnancy or increased progesterone.
Brown discharge could mean that you have experienced a bit of spotting, and it is now passing through your vaginal canal. Brown discharge could be an indication of implantation bleeding.
Discharge that is yellow, green, or gray, foul-smelling, accompanied by itching, burning, or swelling should be taken seriously. If you experience this, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Frequent Need to Urinate
If you’re finding that you can no longer make it through the night without one or two trips to the bathroom, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. It may even be the very first indication someone might be pregnant, even before a missed period or positive test. Still, for some, it comes later into pregnancy.
When you become pregnant, your body starts to produce the hCG hormone and more progesterone. As a result, you will need to urinate more. When an embryo transfer is successful, extra blood will be in your body, resulting in increased urination.
The issue with increased urination during IVF is that it could also indicate a urinary tract infection, which will require immediate medical attention. If you’re also experiencing increased urgency, blood in your urine, a fever, painful urination, nausea, or vomiting, please seek medical attention.
Many individuals have a fluctuation in body temperature during embryo transfer. A significant amount of people experience hot flashes during pregnancy. Due to the rapid hormones changes happening in the body, fluctuations in temperature can occur.
As the most common way to indicate pregnancy, a missed period can definitely mean that the embryo transfer was successful. If you are someone whose period is always on time, being late or missing it entirely likely means that the implantation was successful. As long as you have waited two weeks, it is time to take a pregnancy test.
A headache can result from the increased hormone activity in your body during IVF treatments. Headaches can be expected when taking estrogen and progesterone. Headaches are also a sign of dehydration or lack of caffeine, so it’s crucial to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated during this time. During the embryo transfer, having headaches could mean a successful pregnancy or that your period is on its way.
How Soon After Embryo Transfer Can You Test?
It’s always recommended to wait at least two weeks before testing for pregnancy after an embryo transfer. Still, the most accurate results will come after your missed period. If you test too soon after the transfer, you risk being disappointed, and it’s essential to keep your stress levels down and get adequate rest during this time. It can be a challenge to stay patient during this time, especially if you have been trying to have a family for a while.
At ELITE IVF, our team of compassionate professionals is here to help you achieve the family you’ve been longing for. Contact us today and find out how our team can help you navigate your fertility journey.