Is Laboratory Fertilization or IVF Painful? This is a very common question that is frequently asked by IVF applicants. This method of infertility treatment has several stages, each with its specific conditions. So we decided to analyze each step separately to give a precise answer to your question.
In response to the very common question, “IVF is painful” we should say yes, it can be a bit painful. Certainly, when you are undergoing a medical treatment procedure, you are likely to experience some degree of pain or discomfort. The same applies to IVF. Given the high rate of success of this method in treating your infertility and giving you a baby, you may find it worthwhile to endure this minor pain or accept the potential risks.
The first part of IVF that women are worried about being painful is when women start their hormonal injections to develop eggs. These injections are performed with the help of fine needles or injectable pen devices. Almost all women are worried about this stage because of the anxiety of the IVF process itself and their mental beliefs that a needle or an injection can be painful. However, after the end of this phase, most women report that they have had little or no pain. If you compare these conditions with diabetic patients who have to take insulin injections with the same needles 3 to 4 times a day, you may be more comfortable with this minor pain.
The next stage when IVF applicants complain of pain is when the eggs start to grow and the ovaries start to enlarge. These changes can cause abdominal pain and flatulence. These conditions occur when a large number of eggs in the ovary develop, causing the ovaries to become over-stimulated.
Most women hate egg growth in IVF! However, at this stage, your doctor may limit the number of eggs grown by prescribing certain medications to control pain and discomfort. Of course, the pain and discomfort at this stage are very minor and women can do their daily activities and even go to work. Only a small number of women may have this discomfort for up to a week after the eggs are retrieved from the uterus.
The next stage of IVF in which women expect pain is the retrieval phase of the eggs. Patients’ concern about this stage is that they know that at this stage the doctor inserts a thin, long needle attached to a suction device through the vagina. Then, by puncturing the follicles inside the ovary, it removes its contents, which include the eggs and follicular fluid. Many women expect too much intolerable pain, but the fact is that during the IVF process, women do not feel any pain! Because the whole process is performed under anesthesia. The anesthetic drugs used at this stage have short-term effects and do not negatively affect the eggs.
The next stage of IVF, which couples are usually worried about being painful, is the embryo transfer into the uterus. Usually, three to five days after the egg is retrieved, the embryos formed in the laboratory are transferred into the uterus. Embryo transfer is almost painless, but you may only feel discomfort when inserting the vaginal speculum. The speculum is a tool to hold the tissues open so the doctor can have a better view during the embryo transfer process. However, the discomfort you will feel at this point is like having a Pap smear test.
After the embryo is transferred to the uterus, you will begin hormone therapy with progesterone in the form of suppositories, gels, or injections. Injectable progesterone is an oil-based solution and therefore the needles used in it are somewhat larger and therefore more painful. Some patients tolerate it easily, and others may complain of mild pain. People who cannot tolerate it at all can use vaginal pills or gels without any effect on the result of hormone therapy.
The most prominent infertility specialists agree that IVF does cause some pain and discomfort, but it’s not that much as is thought to be. The pregnancy journey is accompanied by a series of good and bad experiences that the pain and discomfort may be part of it. In summary, during the IVF process, there are various conditions to expect pain, but the interesting thing is that most patients eventually say that the pain they endured was far less than they thought to be. However, you must admit that it is only natural to have some pain or discomfort during any surgery or medical procedures. Whenever needed, your doctor will help you to experience the least pain by using anesthetics or painkillers.
Note that the pregnancy process itself, whether through IVF or naturally, can be accompanied by problems. Doing daily activities during pregnancy can be difficult and throughout the pregnancy, you may experience pain and discomfort. The birth process itself has its problems. The important thing is that all the hardships you experience along the way can be forgotten by hugging your lovely child. Especially if you’ve been waiting for this moment for infertility issues.