Are Cramps after IVF Normal? By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on June 12, 2017

Cramps after IVFDr. Sonja B. Kristiansen is passionate about providing comprehensive and compassionate care throughout your entire fertility journey with us at Houston Fertility Center. At our Houston, TX clinic, we offer a variety of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help patients achieve the family they’ve always desired.

Dr. Kristiansen will carefully explain all the steps involved, taking the time to answer all your questions and concerns so you can better understand what to expect throughout the procedure. She will also explain certain symptoms to be aware of, including cramps after IVF so as to provide peace of mind and eliminate unnecessary stress.

Should You Be Concerned?

At Houston Fertility Center, we understand undergoing fertility treatment can be an unnerving experience, especially when you’ve never walked this path before. Our team is committed to providing you hands-on care and will be available to answer any questions along the way. As you undergo IVF, your body may respond with certain side effects, such as headaches, cramping, and spotting (light bleeding).

Experiencing cramps after IVF is actually very normal, especially 24 to 48 hours after the embryo transfer has taken place. About seven to 10 days after the procedure, you may also notice some discomfort commonly described as period-like cramps, due to the embryo implanting itself in the uterine wall. Cramping is not always a sign of pregnancy, so it’s still important to take a pregnancy test to confirm results.

Other Symptoms

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and in some cases, women may experience no symptoms whatsoever. In addition to cramping, there are a host of other side effects to be aware of so as not to create alarm or increased anxiety. These include:

Tender Breasts

Because you have undergone a variety of hormone injections, your body may respond. Swollen and tender breasts are generally a sign of increased progesterone within the body and can often be a sign of early pregnancy.


Just as with your menstrual cycle, you may experience abdominal bloating in combination with cramping. This is also another side effect of heightened hormone levels and the swelling of your ovaries. Bloating generally occurs even if the embryo fails to implant.


Light bleeding can occur when the embryo implants within the uterine wall, but should dissipate within 24 to 48 hours. In cases where blood flow is heavier and it is followed by increased cramping, it’s important to contact our office as soon as possible.


Having increased levels of progesterone within your body from the hormone injections may also cause fatigue. This symptom will often increase if an embryo successfully implants and results in a positive pregnancy test.


Nausea and an aversion to certain smells are generally some of the first signs of a successful embryo implantation. However, not all women will experience this symptom until later on in their pregnancy. In some cases, women may never even experience nausea throughout their pregnancy.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about IVF and the fertility treatments we provide, contact our office online today or by calling to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kristiansen. We are proud to help women in the Houston area achieve a healthy pregnancy.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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