Is IVF treatment painful?
• The first stage is when women receive small-bore injections for the development of eggs. Almost everyone is scared of the first injection as they are unaware of the amount of pain. But after the initial anxiety, they get more comfortable and experience minimal or no pain.
• The second stage is when the egg starts to develop and ovaries begin to enlarge. In some rare cases, this might cause some abdominal pain and bloating feeling. If this is the case, it means that a large number of eggs have started to grow and that the ovaries are over stimulated. The doctors can tailor the treatment protocol to limit the number of eggs that develop and personalize the treatment. Many women don't experience any pain during stimulation. They may experience mild discomfort but it does not affect their daily life. They can comfortably continue to go to work or manage their homes.
• The third stage is the procedure of egg retrieval. Patients need to be made aware that the eggs are removed by piercing the ovaries through the vagina using a long thin needle. Many women assume that this procedure is painful, whereas the reality is there is no pain at all as the treatment is done under anesthesia. Even after the anesthesia effect wears off, the recovery is very quick and not painful at all.
• The next stage comes after 3-5 days after egg retrieval if it is a fresh transfer cycle. In most cases now, a frozen embryo transfer is preferred. In such a case, the FET comes after 1-2 months after the egg retrieval step. The developed embryo is transferred back into the uterus under the guidance of ultrasound. This procedure is almost painless with just a little bit of discomfort during the insertion of vaginal speculum, like what you may have felt during Pap smear.
To summarize, there are various stages in IVF where people think it is painful. The reality is that the actual steps and procedures are of minimal or no pain.