What Happens to Ovulation After IVF?
The impact in vitro fertilization (IVF) has on ovulation varies based on the woman. If pregnancy occurs, ovulation will not return at all until after the baby is born. Failed IVF attempts can sometimes cause delayed ovulation or cause it to occur sooner in the cycle than normal. The exact pattern of ovulation after IVF will depend on how the individual woman responds to the hormones used during treatment.
Any hormonal change in a woman’s body can affect ovulation. A woman’s cycle can change dramatically after pregnancy and childbirth, and the same is true for after an IVF cycle. Much like pregnancy, it is hard to determine how an individual will respond to treatments. Some women have temporarily delayed ovulation after having IVF, while others may skip an entire month, and still others may ovulate sooner than normal the first month after.
Another possible, and welcomed, change in ovulation after IVF is pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant, ovulation ceases until after the baby has been born. If the woman breastfeeds her child, ovulation may not return until the baby is weaned or until he or she begins eating solid foods. Those who do not breastfeed may begin ovulation again within six weeks of giving birth.
Many women will not notice any changes at all in ovulation after IVF. Others may experience a permanently longer cycle than usual, while others will have a shorter one. This may depend on the hormones and medications being used to induce ovulation, if applicable, and to harvest eggs and prepare the body for pregnancy. Each woman is unique, and not everyone responds to these stimuli in the same way.
To determine whether or not ovulation has returned or to check for changes in ovulation after IVF, women should begin tracking their cycles. Taking an ovulation test, checking for fertile cervical mucus, and sometimes feeling cramps or other physical symptoms can help women indicate when they are ovulating. If ovulation does occur at an abnormal time for several months in a row, this may mean that a woman’s cycle is permanently changed.
There is generally no treatment required for changes in ovulation after fertility treatments, unless one’s cycle becomes unusually long or irregular or if ovulation fails to return at all. Many women do not notice changes if they do occur because those who are in need of IVF treatments often have irregular ovulation patterns anyway. Medications are typically used to correct this.
I have been through two IVF cycles and after the second cycle, I got pregnant and miscarried at about nine or 10 weeks.
There are a lot of hormones involved in an IVF cycle. To say that no hormones are involved relating to one post, shows that some people don't know how the process works. It is not simple and what someone posted is incorrect! There are lots of injected hormones involved.
First, you need to suppress your system, then you stimulate your ovaries with injected hormones, then you inject more hormones to cause your eggs to mature, then you inject another hormone so the ovaries don't release the eggs before they are mature, then you inject more hormones that cause the ovaries to release the ovum, then you go through surgery to harvest these eggs.
Once eggs are harvested, they are inseminated with the sperm and then are incubated for three to five days as they develop. Once they are developed, the good quality embryos are put back into the uterus for implantation. This same day after the embryos are put into the uterus, you need to take oral meds and injections daily to make sure your body does not reject the embryos. You get progesterone injections in your butt and then once a week you also have estrogen injections in the butt. I also needed to do two vaginal suppositories daily, take a daily baby aspirin, take a prenatal vitamin and calcium and vitamin D. You do all this daily for 90 days if you get pregnant. After that, your body should be able to sustain the pregnancy on its own and create the hormones naturally to support the pregnancy.
There are a LOT of hormones and meds involved in all IVF cycles. Unless you have been through IVF, you cannot understand what I and a lot of women have been through that have done it. You do not put embryos in the fallopian tube. That would be an ectopic pregnancy and is not a good thing. Since IVF is not a natural process, this is why hormones are injected to support the baby.
If it is a natural pregnancy, then your body should automatically produce these hormones to support the baby. This is a quick version of the process. There are countless blood tests and ultrasounds done throughout this process. It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, time and money to do IVF.
All these synthetic hormones in a women's body can and do affect their cycles and ovulation schedules if things did not work out and they didn't carry their babies to term or have a miscarriage.
I wish all the best to all the hopeful moms. Keep trying and don't give up.
IVF can have many different, long lasting effects. We tried for years naturally but at 32, I had the eggs of a 50 year old. After two attempts at IVF, the eggs still wouldn't work. We spent all of our money and another $10k we were donated.
Knowing kids for us were never going to happen, we decided to divorce, knowing that over the years, I would always feel terrible that it was my fault we would never have kids and I was preventing him from ever having any and I knew that over time he would grow to resent me for the same reason.
We would didn't want to pretend over the years that it didn't bother us, knowing that nothing would ever change in our marriage, and neither of us would ever fully have what we always wanted.
This is a very well written post. I like the fact that the content of your article is a helpful about ivf treatment. Finally, last year we had our baby. All thanks to Dr Anoop Gupta and the Delhi-IVF Centre Team. Such a beautiful gift!
My friend underwent IVF and she found that her ovulation was pretty normal during the process, well for her anyway. She had always had a bit of a sporadic cycle, so the IVF treatments didn't really impact her at all.
She was actually lucky and ended up only having the one child she asked for. I feel bad for those parents that end up with triplets or more during the process.
Does anyone know if during IVF there is a way to avoid multiple births? Or is so of just a chance you take to get pregnant?
I can't imagine how hard it would be to try and raise numerous babies at the same time.
It has always been interesting to me how many women are willing to undergo IVF treatments when nature isn't helping things along. It seems like besides being expensive it comes with a lot of stress and risk. I can imagine it must be a bit worrisome to have your ovulation fluctuate unpredictably during treatments. I am sure it would make me feel like something was going wrong.
For those that have gone through IVF or are considering it, did you find that the fluctuation in ovulation was something that bothered you? Or was it not really a consideration during the process?
I do know! It seems my friends and I cannot give each other enough details when it comes to trying to get pregnant and everyone has been so different.
I would first and foremost go to your doctor.
Second, if you are going to purchase a digital ovulation kit go all in. The digital ovulation kit that helped my friend who was trying for 6 months get pregnant (she is now 15 weeks) was over a hundred dollars. You can buy them online and in the drug stores and they vary in price.
@amysamp - Where can you get the digital ovulation kits? And I am assuming they vary in price, do you know how much your friends spent on their ovulation kits.
I have been trying to check my ovulation via my temperature, and you have to be incredibly consistent with it and I can't say I have. And I don't know if my trouble getting pregnant is that (me not keeping track) or if I should start to consider IVF.
I have had a friend who after trying for six long years just became pregnant with the help of IVF. Now she is having twin boys. And she is absolutely glowing.
I seem to be at that age where everyone is getting pregnant and we are all learning a ton about it as we try to get pregnant.
One tip that everyone has agreed on it seems, is to use a digital ovulation kit. They are apparently more expensive but worth the accuracy.
And with IVF possibly changing your cycle it seems to be even more worth it to know when your ever changing ovulation is occurring.
@aishia - That does seem to make sense, but it still leaves me wondering a few things. If the delay or changes in ovulation are caused by hormones from the start of a pregnancy that never came to term, why do some women never start ovulating again at all? You would think the hormones would eventually even themselves out and shift back to normal.
@SkittisH - In vitro fertilization isn't by nature something that can "damage" a woman's fertility. It doesn't deal with any changes on a hormonal level, or at least not much -- its all about injecting the embryo or eggs and sperm into a woman's fallopian tubes or uterus so that she becomes pregnant even if she can't conceive a baby naturally.
I would imagine in vitro fertilization's effects on ovulation was more based on hormonal responses in the body as a result of signs of a pregnancy than anything.
I mean, if a woman's body had the hormones to indicate she was pregnant because an embryo was inside her uterus, then later her body rejected the embryo, wouldn't the hormones still be lingering and telling the body not to ovulate again yet? It makes sense to me.
@TheGraham - You're right, when people turn to in vitro fertilization they've often already given up on ever having a baby the "old fashioned way". They wouldn't turn to the in vitro fertilization if the woman could get pregnant without it, after all -- it's expensive and means having a lot less privacy involved in the conception of the baby.
The part that concerns me is that last part of the article noting that changes in a woman's cycle weren't cause for treatment unless her cycle didn't return at all.
Does this mean that in vitro fertilization can potentially make a woman's ability to conceive naturally even worse than it was before the in vitro? The procedure itself can't make someone unable to have any more children, can it?
Wow -- I had no idea that IVF could actually affect a woman's menstrual cycle. When people talk about IVF, they tend only to say that it has helped lots of women become pregnant, and that it has a tendency to cause multiple babies to be born at once (twins, triplets, quadruplets and so on).
I would imagine for women struggling to become pregnant and faced with the chances of never having a child naturally, IVF's permanent changes to their cycle would be a small price to pay for being able to have a baby. The changes aren't harmful or anything, right?
Post your comments