If you are considering undergoing IVF treatment for infertility, it is natural for you to have a few questions. Is IVF painful? That is one of the most common questions asked by patients before they undergo the treatment. Although, the answer to that question is not that simple. It can vary vastly from individual to individual.
According to Dr. Yogita Parihar (Chief Infertility & IVF Specialist at INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL, INDORE), “every individual experience sensation in a different manner. Something might not bother one person that much but could be unbearable to another at the same time. What you experience during the IVF procedure can be completely different from what someone else might have previously experienced. That is why you shouldn’t be unduly concerned about the pain you might experience while undergoing the IVF procedure”.
Of course, you should still expect some physical discomfort, which is common with any medical procedure. Depending on the patient there can be slight pain or none at all. When you visit your doctor, your questions are like ‘is IVF procedure painful?’ They will usually let you know of the possible discomfort you may have. They will explain what is causing the discomfort and will provide comfort through the procedure.
Dr. Deeksha Tiwari (Chief Infertility & IVF Specialist at INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL, INDORE), explained “Physical pain is not the only concern with IVF. Since it is a treatment related to infertility and pregnancy, there is a good deal of emotional pain involved as well. For instance, if the procedure fails, it can cause a lot of stress to the involved couple”.
At the same time, a successful IVF procedure would result in childbirth. So, it would be completely inaccurate to say that there is no pain involved at all. At the same time, how painful is IVF? That can vary significantly. If you do end up achieving pregnancy through the process and deliver a healthy child, all the pain will be worth it. The feeling of beating infertility cannot be explained in words.
Dr. Amar Karia (Gynecologist & IVF Specialist at INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL, BHOPAL) reveled, “Before everything else, it is always wise to try and understand the procedure first. If you know how the process works, a lot of your questions will be answered on its own. You will have a lot of clarity before undergoing the treatment, which always helps. Also, you will have a better idea of how much pain to expect at each step of the process”.
First and foremost, for the process to begin there is a requirement of a lot of eggs. If you are not using donor eggs and want to use your own eggs instead, you will have to take ovulation drugs. These drugs help by stimulating the release of more eggs than what would normally be released in a regular cycle. You would need to self-administer these drugs with the help of a needle.
When it comes to injections, a lot of patients are hesitant. There is a fear of injections, but there isn’t much reason for that. Are IVF injections painful? In most cases, IVF injections are not much painful. There is a stinging sensation but that isn’t anything to be bothered about. The needles are too thin to cause any pain. You can ask your partner or even your friend to stay by your side when you administer the drugs through injections. A friendly presence can be comforting.
In IVF eggs, need to be retrieved. This can be done in a number of ways. However, you will normally be sedated during the process, so you won’t feel the discomfort. Is egg retrieval going to be painful? In all likeliness, no, because you will be sedated during the procedure. However, there might be some discomfort after egg retrieval.
After the removal of eggs, it is common to experience some cramping. However, this cramping is similar to the menstrual cramps that women experience on a monthly basis since their puberty. You should be used to cramps like these and are likely to have your own preferred way of dealing with them. You can consider taking paracetamol, while some exercises like swimming can be helpful. You can even go for something as simple as a hot water bottle. It is your own body and you should do what needs to be done to make yourself comfortable.
Embryo transfer is the process that concerns most people. Questions like ‘is IVF treatment painful?’ are commonly asked for this particular procedure only. Embryo transfer procedure involves transfer of embryo into Uterine Cavity.
The transfer of embryo is done with the help of a small catheter. While it might sound scary and intimidating, there is nothing for you to worry about. If you have come this far with the treatment, you will be able to go through this step as well.
Dr. Nivedita Goverdhan (Gynecologist & IVF Specialist at INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL, BHOPAL), described, “When it comes to the pain involved in IVF treatment, people usually talk about the physical aspect of it. However, all the physical discomfort throughout the procedure is bearable and can be secondary to the emotional pain if the treatment is unsuccessful. Coping with infertility treatment is difficult in the first place. With infertility and pain, the associated emotional turmoil can be really stressful and damaging to your mental well-being.
If your menstrual cycle begins, you can feel distraught thinking all of it was for nothing. You will definitely be in need of comfort and your partner, close friends, and family can provide you that. Of course, medical professionals are also a valuable source of support. They have the right expertise to help you during such testing times. They will provide information on what went wrong and what the next steps could possibly be.
A failed cycle of IVF is not something insignificant. It is totally normal if you go through a mourning period. In fact, it would be healthy for you if you went through the experience on your own. You may want to take some time before you attempt to go through another IVF cycle. You can discuss it with your doctor in the clinic. If you do not want to pursue the treatment again, it is completely your choice.
Just as every individual experience pain differently, they also react differently to a failed cycle. Having said that, going for another cycle is something you should at least consider. In particular, if your first cycle has failed, the chance of achieving pregnancy through the second cycle is almost equal.
Even after multiple failures, there are some options that can be considered. Depending on what is causing the failure, you can opt for donor eggs, donor sperm or even a gestational carrier. Try remaining calm and look through the options ahead of you.
Dr. Ishrat Zubair (Gynecologist & IVF Specialist at INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL, BHOPAL), explained “Does IVF process hurt? It depends a lot on the outcome of the treatment. Of course, the best outcome for any woman is to successfully get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. The IVF process itself is detailed, with a lot of factors involved. If it does result in pregnancy, various other factors come into play.
Pregnancy is associated with different sorts of sensation and it can potentially cause pain as well. You may have swollen hands and feet, which is never a comfortable sight. Also, as your pregnancy processes, it will get more and more difficult for you to carry out your day to day activities with ease. The pain you may experience is completely normal and is a common occurrence with pregnancy.
At the end of it all, labor can be extremely intensive. However, once you get through it and have a child, you will forget it all. Having a baby, particularly after being infertile, will make it all completely worth it. You will be glad you underwent the procedure.
So, to sum it all up, is IVF painful? It might as well be. Whenever you are undergoing a medical procedure, pain is always one of the possibilities. IVF isn’t any different in this regard. You should be prepared to experience a certain level of pain and discomfort. It will also allow you to better manage the sensations you might experience. Considering the possibility of getting pregnant and having a baby, the end result makes all the probable pain a risk worth taking.
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