Managing Side Effects of Fertility Treatment


There are many dreary stories of side effects of fertility treatments…like bloating, moodiness, needle point wounds, weight gain, pelvic pain and even the future possibility of dealing with cancer as a result of the aftermath of some of the treatments.

But the promise of a baby is too strong a lure, not to submit to any fertility treatment that might be required for a couple trying to conceive. Even if the treatment comes with only a hint of promise of a baby, it is worth going for. It is that simple.

Meanwhile, how do we deal with the side effects of these treatments? Fertility doctors and researchers have a host of ways to help alleviate the pain, while undergoing these treatments but your guess is right, the promise of a baby is enough to alleviate the pain.

Just as you consider the injections, and the agony of having to self inflict pain, you remember it is all for the baby and you inject yourself anyway, or hold still so your better half, or nurse, can inject you, with the “It is all for the baby (or babies)” song ringing in your head. Here are some of the popular treatments, side effects and ways to alleviate them from doctors and women who have been down that path.

One of the most popular fertility treatment is Clomid, an anti estrogen hormone, which is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs. It is often used when ovulation is not regular. One of the side effects that fertility doctors have noticed is that, it makes such moms moody. Their moods while using it are pretty unpredictable. Any testifiers in the house? Signify with a wave of your hand, I salute you!

One woman’s way of dealing with the emotional upheaval of using Clomid was to pamper herself. The cycle she used it, she visited the spa more times than she normally would have in a month. But it was the only way she could relax and she did not forget the joy of a small cup of ice cream afterwards.

The other side effect of Clomid use is of a more permanent nature. It is the increased possibility of multiples, which is a welcome development. And that is as a result of the stimulation of the ovaries to release more egg than it would naturally.

However, according to a reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Abbey Eblan, 2 percent of women who use Clomid are susceptible to visual disturbances like seeing spots and streaks, a potential problem, which needs the immediate attention of the doctor.

Gonadtrophins are bottled hormones that are used early in a cycle for IUI or IVF, to cause multiple eggs to grow to mature size and when they are matured, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) injections are given to cause the release of the matured eggs. All of these are done under close monitoring though.

To alleviate the pain of injecting oneself, Dr. Amin Gafar, a renown Gynaecologist suggested that putting a bag of ice close to the skin before injecting, and something warm immediately afterwards, will help with the pain and reduce bruising.

There is one major side effect though, Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). For those, who don’€™t know, OHSS comes with collection of fluid in the chest and abdomen, leading to bloating, weight gain, nausea, and even vomiting. To help, Dr. Gafar advised that though taking more fluid might seem counteractive, especially with the bloating, but it is still the best remedy, in order to halt the dehydration, the other extreme end of deal.

Some doctors  prescribe medication for OHSS, or even delaying the hCG injection until the body stabilizes. The good news is it does not last. In a few weeks, you are in the clear.

For Gloria, who experienced OHSS, she said the bloating made her far more pregnant than she actually was, and she even needed to change her office wears to accommodate the changes in her size. Her doctor also suggested that she took lots of fluid with high sodium content, which enabled her keep the fluid in her blood stream, ensuring it didn’t leak into her abdomen, which would have increased the bloating.

The Progesterone injections…the ultimate bad guy, if the reactions fertility doctors get from their patients are anything to go by. Moms using it complain about how painful it is literally. Progesterone injections are used when the embryos have been transferred into the uterus, to help build up the womb’€™s lining, so it is conducive for the baby.

Yvonne is a pro with the progesterone injection, even though she loathes it. For her first baby, she was moody…make that a ticking bomb…which went off on her husband’€™s head a few times. And she still had to contend with headaches and weight gain. By the time, she started cycling for her second baby, she mentally prepared herself for the shots and even requested smaller needles which she got but still, it was not enough. Every time, she took the injection, she pretty much sat down, because it meant, she could not walk for a while.

Aside from that, the Medical Director of an American fertility clinic, and author of The Fastest Way To Get Pregnant Naturally, Dr. Christopher Williams, said progesterone can cause intestinal bloating, as well as heartburn. He recommends €œlots of fluids and fiber to keep things going through€ and antacids to keep the belching at bay.

The good news is, the injections only last for ten weeks, and also come in suppositories, which can just be inserted in via the vagina, or anus, eventually finding its way into the uterus, where it is needed.

And the ultimate side effect of fertility treatment is what we crave the most…the baby! And this is the most welcome of all!

In the end, the doctors can help alleviate pain and discomfort with medication, and some procedures, but it is our mindset at such times that counts the most. Let’s keep that in mind as we go on this trying to conceive journey.

Hopefully, there is a baby waiting at the end of the journey!






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  1. @oluwakemine…very true write up…I felt I was James Bond cos all thru Dr and stimms..really had no side effects.. wish i cld say same after er…. I feel so oo bloated. .. bruised and v been in bed for the past 3 days…Dnt tink d pain relievers is doing much to alleviate the pain…so any suggestions will b welcome

  2. Awww, sorry Princess @princess. Pain tolerance level differs. But, I think it will be a better idea, if you talk to your doctor first about the pain relieve medication, you are taking currently, to see if you can have something else. Pele. *Hugs*


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