Understanding Menstrual Changes After Egg Retrieval

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Egg retrieval is a crucial step in the In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) processes, often leading to several menstrual changes afterward. 

Egg retrieval involves collecting mature eggs from a woman's ovaries to be fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. After a process of ovarian stimulation (by taking hormonal injections), the egg retrieval occurs via a minor surgical procedure, which can lead unexpected menstrual changes.

These changes can include delays in the onset of the first and second period, changes to flow, and irregular cycles and symptoms as your body adjusts to the hormonal treatments. Understanding these menstrual changes can help you better navigate your IVF journey. 


Menstrual changes after egg retrieval:

Delayed Menstruation 

It's common for the next menstrual period to be delayed after egg retrieval. The hormones used to stimulate the ovaries can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, causing a delay. Once this first period occurs, it may also take some time for the body's natural hormonal cycle to reestablish itself. This can sometimes result in a second period being delayed or irregular.

Changes to Menstrual Flow 

The first and second period after egg retrieval can be heavier or lighter than usual. This variability is due to the hormonal fluctuations and the effects of the medications used during the ovarian stimulation, learn more about ovarian stimulation here.

Heavy bleeding may also be accompanied by more severe cramps. This is due to the thickened lining of the uterus by hormonal stimulation​.

Menstrual Cramps

Some women may experience more intense menstrual cramps during their first period after egg retrieval. The ovaries can remain enlarged and sensitive following the procedure, contributing to increased discomfort. 

Cycle Irregularity 

Many women find that their menstrual cycles may not return to their usual regularity immediately after the first egg retrieval. This is because the body needs time to normalise its hormonal balance after IVF which can cause temporary disruptions in your normal cycle length and flow. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the second period to also be delayed as the body adjusts hormonally. 

These changes are generally temporary. However, if there are any concerns or if the menstrual irregularities persist, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider. 

How to Prepare for your IVF Journey 

Fertility expert Zita West and Aria Fertility Clinic Director & Embryologist Robert Smith hosted a free webinar to help you learn how to enhance your IVF success both holistically and scientifically.  

Additionally, Zita West offers an ultimate set of visualisations Pre Transfer, Transfer, Post Transfer and Two-Week Wait, to support you holistically throughout your IVF journey.




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