In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one of the most popular fertility treatments offered by Dr. Sonja Kristiansen at Houston Fertility Center. IVF is an advanced reproductive technique that addresses a wide range of fertility issues to increase a patient’s chance of conceiving a child.
IVF is a multi-stage treatment that involves several different procedures. While our Houston, TX patients are undergoing IVF, they may experience a number of side effects, one of which is nausea. We discuss IVF and nausea with our patients before they begin the IVF process, so they are prepared for when they may expect this side effect, how they can deal with it, and when it needs to be reported.
Nausea during Ovarian Stimulation
When our Sugar Land patients begin the IVF process, they undergo ovarian stimulation. During ovarian stimulation, a series of fertility medications are used to promote the production of multiple mature follicles, which allows us to collect numerous eggs during the retrieval process.
The exact fertility medications that are used may vary slightly for each patient. However, regardless of which fertility drugs are used, the patient will experience changes in hormonal levels. Hormonal fluctuations frequently result in side effects, including bloating, cramping, and mild nausea.
Nausea after Embryo Transfer
Another stage of IVF treatment that may result in nausea is the embryo transfer. The embryo transfer procedure allows Dr. Kristiansen to place the selected embryo, or embryos, directly into the uterus. Ideally, the embryo will implant and the patient will become pregnant.
In the days following embryo transfer, patients may experience bloating or cramping. Some also experience nausea. Nausea can be an early sign of pregnancy. However, sometimes patients suffer nausea as a lingering side effect of the fertility medication. Our patients will not know if IVF has been a success until we perform a pregnancy test at our clinic, which takes place about two weeks after the embryo transfer.
Tips for Dealing with Nausea
Each of our Houston patients responds to IVF treatment differently. Some may not experience any nausea while others suffer from mild to severe episodes. Fortunately, there are some practices our patients can try to reduce nausea so they feel their best throughout IVF.
- Try to avoid having a completely empty stomach
- Eat small, light snacks throughout the day
- Avoid heavy meals
- Stay away from foods that are particularly sweet or greasy
- Give food time to digest before participating in physical activities
- Try sipping ice water
- Take small bites of food when eating
Do I Need to Report My Nausea?
Nausea is a normal side effect of IVF treatment. Although patients may be anxious about any potential signs of IVF complications, nausea should not typically be a cause of concern. The only time that patients should report nausea to Dr. Kristiansen is when it is persistent, gets increasingly worse, makes it difficult to keep food or liquids down, or if the nausea is accompanied by other unusual side effects.
At Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen offers a wide range of services to assist patients in diagnosing fertility issues and finding solutions that will increase their chance of becoming pregnant. If you would like to learn more about our fertility treatments, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call our practice at (713) 862-6181.