Is IVF Painful
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


Is IVF Painful?

At Bay IVF, we use gentle, individualized ovarian stimulation and strive for the highest egg quality rather than quantity. This approach minimizes the number of clinic visits and decreases the likelihood that the IVF will be painful.

There could be some mild transient discomfort during the IVF procedure related to how some stimulatory medications are administered. Several hormonal medications used for ovarian stimulation are given as shallow subcutaneous injections. These shots are commonly given by the patients' partners or by the patients themselves. They cause minimal discomfort and can be made painless by icing the injection site before administration.

Some patients also wonder whether the egg retrieval procedure is painful. The egg retrieval typically takes only 5 to 10 minutes, and we use very comfortable conscious sedation for analgesia. As a result, most of our patients sleep through the brief procedure without the need for general anesthesia.

Another possible source of some degree of discomfort can be ovarian hyperstimulation. This condition can result in fluid accumulation within the body, especially in the pelvic and abdominal cavities. This "water weight gain" can make you feel uncomfortable and bloated, and your abdomen can become distended. Hyperstimulation occurs in only a small minority of patients. It peaks about a week after egg retrieval and then gradually disappears. It is a self-limiting condition. Medications can be used to minimize or even eliminate ovarian hyperstimulation.

To the best of our understanding, IVF treatment has no lasting side effects. There is no increased risk of diseases, i.e., cancer later in the woman's life.

In summary, IVF treatment is very gentle on the patient's body physically but can be challenging psychologically and emotionally.

Please use the following links for additional information about In Vitro Fertilization and to schedule a consultation.



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