Embryo transfer is an important and final step of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. During this treatment, doctors stimulate the ovaries to produce more healthy eggs. After that, the eggs are retrieved from the woman's ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory. Once fertilized, the eggs turn into an embryo, which is transferred back into the woman's uterus. For a woman to become pregnant, the embryo must attach itself to the wall of the uterus (implantation).
Earliest Signs of Pregnancy After Embryo Transfer
IVF requires a great deal of patience and alertness. It takes approximately two weeks for the first pregnancy symptoms after IVF to manifest. Some of these signs could include:
After the embryo transfer process, some patients can experience cramping, which resembles period cramps and might last seven to ten days after fertilization. However, if the cramps become severe, consult a doctor immediately. It might indicate a condition such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or ovarian torsion.
Bleeding or Spotting
Bleeding or spotting may sometimes occur after embryo transfer, occurring in the first three to five days. Spotting usually confirms implantation; the embryo is now successfully attached to the uterine wall lining. Despite this, spotting may occur due to hormone medications such as progesterone, not pregnancy. So again, consulting a doctor to confirm this is a good idea.
Missed periods are amongst the foremost indications of pregnancy, regardless of whether the conception was natural or assisted by IVF. The absence of menstruation can indicate a successful embryo transfer, especially if you have a regular menstruation cycle, which occurs on the same day every month.
When you are pregnant, your progesterone and hCG levels rise, causing frequent bathroom visits. In addition, embryo transfer increases the blood flow through the body, leading to more frequent urination. In contrast, if you frequently urinate and experience painful urination or bleeding, you should consult a doctor immediately because this could indicate a urinary tract infection.
Sore breasts are another sign that the embryo transfer is successful, as pregnancy may cause them to become tender. You might feel tingling or darkening around the areolas. During the 14-day wait period, however, hormone medications can also cause tender breasts.
Tiredness and Fatigue
Other positive signs of embryo transfer include fatigue or tiredness because early pregnancy increases progesterone levels and helps maintain the uterine lining. Due to this increase in progesterone, many women feel tired. It is, however, only sometimes valid that fatigue indicates the success or failure of a transfer. Many factors can cause a woman's tiredness; therefore, fatigue is not always a reliable pregnancy indicator.
Nausea manifesting as morning sickness can cause you to feel nauseous when you wake up. The symptoms of nausea can be mild or severe and may be triggered by smells or odors or may have no special cause. It usually subsides by the fourth month, but some women experience it throughout pregnancy.
After embryo transfers, bloating is generally a sign indicating the embryo is growing normally and has implanted. Bloating is a natural process in the body that occurs when the body fills up with fluid. It need not always indicate pregnancy but is one of the symptoms nonetheless.
An increase in the mother's basal body temperature after embryo transfer can also indicate pregnancy, but it is not a definitive confirmation.
It is important to note that the absence or presence of these symptoms is not a strong predictor of pregnancy. Some of these symptoms could also be caused by taking progesterone hormone medications. So there is only one way to ensure whether your embryo transfer was successful: a positive pregnancy test. However, it is worth noting that 10-15% of women do not experience symptoms but later undergo a pregnancy test and find out they are pregnant.
1. How soon after embryo transfer do you start experiencing symptoms?
Early IVF pregnancy symptoms can as appear two weeks after conception.
2. Is implantation affected by sleeping position?
Transfer of embryo happens when the lining of your womb is soft and thick, suitable for embryo implantation. No evidence exists that a particular sleeping position helps embryos implant better, so you can choose the most comfortable position.
3. Is it safe to do housework after the embryo transfer?
You can resume your daily activities after embryo transfer, but you should avoid heavy tasks, such as lifting heavy objects, carrying children, or exercising strenuously.
4. Are you able to feel implantation?
There is no conclusive evidence of this. Some women have symptoms and telltale signs, but this is very individual.