What can Cause Spotting After IVF?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Vaginal exams during which a speculum is used can cause spotting during pregnancy.
Vaginal exams during which a speculum is used can cause spotting during pregnancy.

Women having trouble getting pregnant naturally may opt for in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in order to conceive. Occasionally, spotting after IVF occurs, which may cause worry since this symptom is usually associated with negative occurrences during the menstrual cycle. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a few reasons for spotting after IVF, and not all of them are cause for concern. The most common causes are irritation of the cervix or uterine lining, hormone changes, and the implantation of an embryo.

The addition of progesterone during an IVF cycle can result in some spotting.
The addition of progesterone during an IVF cycle can result in some spotting.

During the IVF process, eggs need to be retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized, and then placed back inside. This means that doctors need to frequently access various reproductive organs, such as the cervix and ovaries, and foreign objects, like a catheter, are often inserted. Additionally, in IVF, the doctor has to closely monitor the reproductive organs after the embryo transfer. This often includes using tools, such as a speculum, to take note of what is occurring during the cycle. Just like after a Pap smear, it is considered normal for the cervix to be irritated for a few days following the procedure, often resulting in light spotting.

During the IVF process, eggs need to be retrieved from the ovaries.
During the IVF process, eggs need to be retrieved from the ovaries.

Most women doing IVF are often on various hormone treatments during the cycle, and any sudden change in hormonal balance can cause spotting. This often occurs naturally when estrogen takes over in the body just before menstruation begins, which is why many women spot brown or pink for a few days before their period. It stands to reason, then, that the addition of hormones like progesterone during an IVF cycle can cause an imbalance, resulting in some spotting. Additionally, some women need to take medication in order to stimulate ovulation before eggs are retrieved, and this usually leads to side effects like spotting.

Donor eggs for IVF can come from family, friends or an anonymous donor through an egg donor clinic.
Donor eggs for IVF can come from family, friends or an anonymous donor through an egg donor clinic.

One of the best reasons for spotting after IVF is called implantation bleeding, in which the fertilized embryo begins to implant into the uterine lining. Many women who experience spotting after IVF hope that this is the cause of the light bleeding, since this means that the cycle was a success. In fact, even women who become pregnant naturally view some spotting as a possible sign of implantation, and thus get excited that they may be pregnant. It should be noted that spotting after IVF due to implantation usually occurs six to twelve days after embryo transfer, though some people do start spotting slightly earlier or later than that. Of course, if the spotting continues for a prolonged period of time, it is a good idea to let the doctor know so that any potential problems may be ruled out.

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Discussion Comments

werterful

People who undergo a successful IVF report a variety of IVF symptoms including sore breasts, bloating in the abdomen, abdominal cramps, hunger, insomnia, dizzy spells and feelings of nausea. Some people also report spotting.

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    • Vaginal exams during which a speculum is used can cause spotting during pregnancy.
      By: Stefan Gräf
      Vaginal exams during which a speculum is used can cause spotting during pregnancy.
    • The addition of progesterone during an IVF cycle can result in some spotting.
      By: logos2012
      The addition of progesterone during an IVF cycle can result in some spotting.
    • During the IVF process, eggs need to be retrieved from the ovaries.
      By: pankajstock123
      During the IVF process, eggs need to be retrieved from the ovaries.
    • Donor eggs for IVF can come from family, friends or an anonymous donor through an egg donor clinic.
      By: micromonkey
      Donor eggs for IVF can come from family, friends or an anonymous donor through an egg donor clinic.
    • Implantation bleeding may occur five to ten days after the time of conception.
      By: Monkey Business
      Implantation bleeding may occur five to ten days after the time of conception.
    • Irritation of the cervix may cause spotting after IVF.
      By: ProMotion
      Irritation of the cervix may cause spotting after IVF.
    • Spotting after IVF may be a sign of a successful implantation.
      By: Kurhan
      Spotting after IVF may be a sign of a successful implantation.
    • Some women who have trouble getting pregnant use in vitro fertilization in order to conceive.
      By: Gajus
      Some women who have trouble getting pregnant use in vitro fertilization in order to conceive.