Infertility/Fertility/Ivf side effects
Just went through my first ivf cycle. I'm 38. They mentioned bloating as a side effect but not looking pregnant! I have gained about 5 pounds in one week not eating any differently. Was told this isn't excessive for post ivf. Is this correct? No pain anymore but my belly is round firm and huge. I'm 5'4 and I used to be 110 lbs now I'm 115 lbs and people have asked me if I'm expecting. Can't button my jeans. It's been a week. When can I expect this gross belly to go away. When would it be a concern if it doesn't? Do most women get a big belly after ivf? It's more than bloating. Like I said, I look pregnant. Why would ivf cause the stomach to puff out so much. The puff is not just under the belly button, it's my belly, I'm not vain but I used to have a flat stomach and this looks really weird on me. I assume exercises won't do anything. Again, when would a patient expect this to go away? Also, if I don't get pregnant, how long should I wait if I want to try naturally? Do the meds stay in the system stimulating? Thanks so much. Any answer hugely appreciated.
Hello Kim from the U.S. (New York),
It is not usual for the stomach to be bulging and feeling excessively bloating. However, I can't tell you exactly what is going on without more information. One of the potential risks of IVF is an abnormality called "ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome" or OHSS. This is when the ovary excessively responds to the stimulation and causes fluid to be pulled into the abdominal cavity. So, the abdomen fills will fluid and the abdomen gets excessively bloated. If it progresses, it can progress to the point of interfering with normal bleeding, among other problems. This usually happens when the follicle count is greater than 20 and the estradiol goes above 4000 at the time of HCG trigger. Now, there is some continued bloating, similar to the feeling when the ovaries were being stimulated. That is because after retrieval, the ovaries will re-fill with fluid and become tender again. Since you have these symptoms, this is something that you should talk to your doctor about so they can make sure you don't have OHSS.
If you get pregnant, it can last for several weeks into the pregnancy. If you don't get pregnant, it usually will stop shortly thereafter.
In terms of trying naturally, you certainly can start trying as soon as the new cycle begins (after your period). The stim meds are already out of your system. They are very short acting and that is why you have to take the injections every day.
Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.
for additional information check out my blog at http://womenshealthandfertility.blogspot.com
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