Congratulations on reaching the exciting stage of your egg retrieval! As you eagerly anticipate the outcome, it’s important to prepare yourself for the following recovery period. After your egg retrieval procedure, you might feel a bit uncomfortable or experience some side effects but everyone’s experience is different.
Tips for getting better
- Cramping: After the egg retrieval, you might have felt a bit of abdominal cramping. This is normal because the procedure and moving your ovaries around can cause it. The pain might be mild or a bit stronger, and this may vary from person to person.
- Bloating: Due to the stimulation protocol used to encourage the growth of multiple follicles, some women may experience bloating after egg retrieval. This bloating can be attributed to increased fluid and enlarged ovaries. The bloating may persist for a few days following the procedure.
- Constipation: Because of the medicine and changes in your hormones, it could be hard to go to the toilet. You might feel a bit stuck, but it should get better.
- Fatigue: The egg retrieval process can be tiring for your body and mind. The ups and downs in your hormones and stress can make you feel fatigued. It’s important to rest and let yourself get better.
- Spotting or Light Bleeding: You might see a bit of blood or spotting after the procedure. This is because of how the doctor worked with your ovaries. If the bleeding is heavy or comes with severe pain, you should talk to your doctor.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): While not a common occurrence, some women may develop OHSS, a condition characterised by the overstimulation of the ovaries. Symptoms of OHSS can include severe abdominal pain, excessive bloating, nausea, vomiting, and decreased urination. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
Tips to help minimise post-retrieval discomfort for a smooth recovery
When you get back home after the procedure, make sure you have a heating pad ready. Put it on your tummy; it can help with soreness and cramps from the procedure. The warm feeling can relax you and make you feel better.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relief
Along with using a heating pad, you might want to take over-the-counter pain relievers. But before you do, talk to your doctor about which ones are safe to take after the egg retrieval.
Combat Constipation with Proactive Measures
Constipation is common during recovery because of the medicines you took and the procedure. To help, drink lots of water before and after the retrieval. Also, eat foods with a lot of fibre like chia seeds, flax seeds, sweet potatoes, and prunes. If you need to, you can also take something to help you poop more easily.
Opt for Gentle, Non-Gassy Foods
You won’t be able to eat before the retrieval, so you might be really hungry later. Choose foods that don’t cause gas and help with constipation.
Hydrate with Water and Electrolytes
To help with bloating from the extra liquid in your ovaries, drink plenty of water and special drinks with stuff called electrolytes. These make your body feel better and stop it from holding onto too much liquid. Some drinks, like coconut water or electrolyte powders mixed with water, can do the trick.
Prioritise Rest and Relaxation
After the retrieval, your body might be tired and not feel so great. Take this chance to rest. Get comfy with your heating pad, snacks with fibre, and some drinks with electrolytes. You can watch your favourite shows on Netflix or Prime and just enjoy the quiet time. Your body needs this to get better faster.
Cultivate a Calm Mindset
Waiting for news about your eggs can be really stressful. But try to relax and focus on feeling better. Instead of worrying, think about resting and doing things that make you happy. Trust your doctors and the work you’ve done so far. Being calm will help you get ready for the next step in your fertility journey. And remember, if you’re worried or things don’t feel right, talk to your doctor. They can help you feel better and give you advice during this time.
Remember, everyone’s experience is a bit different, but these tips can help you feel better as your body gets back to normal. If you have any big worries, don’t wait to ask your doctor for help. They’re there to make sure you’re okay.
Anna Haotanto is the Founder of Zora Health and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. Anna’s personal experiences with egg-freezing, PCOS and the challenges of fertility have fueled her mission to provide high-quality information, financing, and support to help women and couples navigate their fertility journeys with confidence. She is also recognised for her achievements in finance, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment, and has been featured in various media outlets. You can also follow her on Linkedin or Instagram.
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