6 Things to do Post-Egg Retrieval to Minimize Discomfort

Our Checklist of Top Tips To Follow for Egg Retrieval Recovery after IVF or egg freezing. How to reduce painful bloating and what items you should have on hand to help recover.
Woman lying on couch holding abdomen
Woman lying on couch holding abdomen
If you’re getting close to your egg retrieval, it’s a very exciting yet nerve-wracking time! 

Although you might be primarily focused right now on anticipating for your trigger date or hoping for a certain number of eggs, give yourself time away from thoughts you have no control over by focusing on something you can actually do to support yourself: prepare for the post-retrieval recovery. 

Some women tolerate the egg retrieval process pretty well and may have light cramping but can go right back to work the next day while others, especially those in danger of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) may need more recovery time. 

Common symptoms for those who experience discomfort from the egg retrieval are: 
  • cramping
  • bloating due to the stimulation protocol
  • constipation
  • general fatigue

No matter which group you are in, use this checklist below for tips on what you should implement as part of your post-retrieval recovery regime and possibly continue for a couple of days as well. 

1. Heating pad

Make sure you get that heating pad nice and warm as soon as you get home! Resting a heating pad on your abdomen will help with any vaginal soreness and/or cramping from the egg retrieval process. 

2. Tylenol

In addition to the heating pack, pop some Tylenol to help with any mild discomfort.

Make sure to ask your doctor exactly what type of pain-reliever you can use, as certain medications such as Ibuprofen should not be taken after an egg retrieval.

3. Get those bowels moving! 

If you prepare for nothing else, prepare for the fight against constipation. 

Your body’s response to stimulation medications and anesthesia will lead to some bathroom problems after the egg retrieval that can make you very uncomfortable. 

Make sure to drink a lot of water in the days leading up to your egg retrieval and make sure you are eating enough fiber. 

After the egg retrieval, you should hydrate with electrolytes and water, eat high-fiber foods like chia, flax seeds, sweet potatoes, prunes which are high in sorbitol and... you might want to get a stool softener like Colace to help things move along. 

4. Eat, but avoid foods that cause gas

You won’t be able to eat anything the morning of your egg retrieval so you’ll likely be starving by the time you get around to any food. 

Try to incorporate some of the foods above that can help with constipation and make sure to avoid any foods that typically make you gassy as that will cause unnecessary discomfort on top of the constipation and we’re not about adding any additional problems to the mix. 

5. Drink lots of water and electrolytes

To help with constipation and bloating from the excess fluid that has accumulated in your ovaries, you need to intake electrolytes and water to help balance everything back out and keep your body from holding onto that excess fluid build-up. 

We’ve seen lots of infertility patients use gatorade for their electrolyte source but if you’re looking for something with less sugar then you can opt for coconut water, Pedialyte, or electrolyte powders that you can mix into water yourself. 

6. Take it easy, nap, Netflix/Hulu/Prime and chill

You’re going to be tired and possibly a little uncomfortable so grab your glass of electrolytes, fiber-rich snacks & heating pad and head to the couch or your bed for the rest of the day. 

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Bonus: Zen Out & Get Your Mind Right

The anticipation of finding out your egg number, how many are mature, & how many embryos will develop are going to want to creep into your mind but try instead to use this time to rest, recover and distract yourself with something that truly makes you happy. 

Trust that your clinical team has done everything they can to give you the best possible results and so have you, so chill out, let them get to work and when you get that call you’ll be mentally ready to take that next important step on your journey. 

We hope you find these tips helpful! How many eggs are you expecting?!

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