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Captura de Pantalla 2021-04-29 a la(s) 6.09.34 a. m.

Pain and Infertility: Does IVF Hurt?

Dr. Mario Vega C.
Aug 9, 2021 8:23:12 PM

Let's define what pain is for you 

Pain is a sensation that can be experienced as a prick, tingling, stinging, burning, or a discomfort depending on the situation. People experience sensations in very different ways, and what may be unbearable for one may not be a cause for concern for another. This is a good reason not to be alarmed by the pain you may or may not experience when undergoing IVF.

Each patient reacts differently from IVF and you may or may not experience mild pain (similar to menstrual cramps). What you can expect is a discomfort, very similar to those caused by premenstrual syndrome, but rest assured that at all times our specialist doctors will be available to explain what happens every step of the way. However, there are other forms of pain, such as emotional pain from a failed attempt, that we do not take lightly. If you do experience mild pain or discomfort, just know that it will be worth it when you have a healthy baby at home.

How is the medical procedure?

An In Vitro Fertilization requires as many eggs as possible, and if the patient is using her own eggs instead of donor eggs, it will be necessary to take ovulation medications. These stimulate the release of more eggs than in a normal cycle. The medications themselves are self-administered by the patient with a (small) needle. Injections are often scary, but don't worry, there is really no reason to fear them, these needles are so thin that there is really no pain at all. Patients can ask their partners or a trusted person for help if they really can't do it themselves, which may even have the advantage of making the other person feel included in the process.

As for egg release, this can be a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be painful. As we discussed, the side effects are very similar to those of PMS and this will not matter when the treatment is successful and you manage to get pregnant.
Once the eggs have been released, we must retrieve them, which is known as an aspiration. During this process, patients are sedated to avoid discomfort. It is not unusual to experience colic after aspiration of the eggs, but this is similar to menstrual cramps. It is likely that patients are used to handling these colic and have their own method to deal with them, we usually when the patient requests it we prescribe paracetamol. Just as each body is different, each person has their own way of dealing with common discomforts.

What happens when a cicle is not successful?

The physical discomfort that can arise during IVF can be secondary to the emotional turmoil that can result from a failed cycle. On the day the patient's menstrual cycle begins, she may feel distressed and in need of comfort. The partner, close friends or family can be an invaluable source of support during a difficult time, at Panama Fertility we also support our patients with professionals trained in managing emotions, we talk with our patients about what happened and we provide them with information about the next steps. Also, we have a psychologist in our clinic trained in pregnancy loss and difficulty conceiving.

A failed IVF cycle is not trivial. It is completely normal to go through a period of grief, and it is healthy for a patient to be able to live the experience on her own terms. If the patient chooses to take time out before trying another IVF cycle, it is totally normal and she has the right to reach an agreement with her clinic. Some women don't feel a sense of loss at this early stage, that's nothing to worry about. Since each person experiences things differently, each person who goes through a failed IVF cycle may react differently.


To keep in mind

The best and most anticipated result is for the patient to be successful in getting pregnant and having a healthy baby at home. While the procedures associated with IVF can have their ups and downs, it's important to note that pregnancy can lead to all kinds of strange sensations, including potential pain. Swollen hands and feet can make shoes and rings uncomfortable, and of course, as a pregnant patient grows older, it may become more difficult for her to do her usual activities with ease.
These aches and pains are completely normal and are often part of pregnancy. In fact, many women accept these annoyances as they are a constant reminder of the new life growing within them. Labor can be intense, of course, but luckily our incredible biology helps us easily forget the pain of labor once it's over. On the other hand, of course bringing a newborn baby home makes it all worthwhile.

Pain is always a possibility when we talk about a medical procedure, and going through IVF is no different, but we will accompany you at all times to alleviate your discomfort.
At Panama Fertility we have specialists that will solve all your questions and make you company during all your treatment. We have 35 yeas of experience treating complicated cases of infertility and we handle every patient as the only one.

We are ready to make your dream come true.
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