Food & Diet

What To Eat After The Egg Retrieval To Reduce Bloating

McKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN
Expertly reviewed by: McKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN
McKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist who helps folks heal from perfectionism around food and their bodies so they can live fully nourished through fertility, pregnancy and beyond.
After the egg retrieval, the bloat is real. And so is constipation. Here are what foods a fertility dietician suggests you eat and avoid eating after your egg retrieval to help.
What Foods to Eat After The Egg Retrieval
What Foods to Eat After The Egg Retrieval
If you just did your egg retrieval, great job! That is no small feat.

Your work is done, so it's time to leave the rest up to the embryology lab at your fertility clinic. Now you can focus on getting back to your pre-stims self.

We previously shared our 6 things to do post-egg retrieval for recovery and while we touched on the fact that it's important to eat foods that won't make bloating and constipation worse, we didn't go into detail.

Now we're going to look specifically at what foods to eat after your egg retrieval for recovery. Because we imagine that at this point, you must be feeling the post-egg retrieval bloat right now.

What causes bloating after the egg retrieval?

During an IVF cycle, the fertility medications you take are meant to recruit as many follicles in your ovaries as possible so that you can retrieve multiple eggs during your cycle.

However, all of these extra follicles developing causes your ovaries to intake much more fluid than normal.

While taking fertility medications for IVF, your ovaries to grow from the size of a grape to the size of an orange or even a grapefruit! 😱 And a lot of this size is caused by excess fluid.

This increased water retention can cause an electrolyte imbalance and is part of what leads to bloating and constipation after the egg retrieval. Not to mention the anesthesia, which can also affect your bowel movements

So what should you eat after the egg retrieval to help you get back to normal?

We spoke with fertility dietician, McKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN, to get her guidance on the best and worst foods to eat after the egg retrieval. 

What foods can you eat to help reduce bloating after your egg retrieval?


When it comes to bloating, McKenzie pointed out that it's more about finding foods that won't exacerbate the issue rather than finding foods that will actually reduce the bloat.

She shared, "There are not necessarily foods that help reduce bloating, but rather foods that might make bloating worse. Beans and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) are often big culprits. If you know you have lactose intolerance, avoiding dairy is advisable as well."

How to make bloating go away after egg retrieval
How to make bloating go away after egg retrieval


Besides avoiding certain foods that can make bloating worse, hydration is key. When it comes to which types of liquids you're imbibing, some are better than others.

McKenzie shares that when it comes to reducing bloating, "It's most helpful to stay well hydrated, getting 64 fl oz non caffeinated, non alcoholic liquid per day.

Soothing hot teas, especially ginger tea, can help with discomfort, but 'de-bloating' teas should be avoided as these are laxatives and can be dangerous while trying to conceive".

Dos and Don'ts to Reduce Bloating:
beans
❌ cruciferous veggies
❌ dairy (if you're intolerant)
✅ 64 fl oz liquids
✅ hot teas (e.g. ginger tea)
❌ de-bloating teas

What are the best foods to eat after your egg retrieval if you are constipated?


If you're suffering from constipation after your egg retrieval, making sure you stay hydrated and get enough fiber will help move things along.

McKenzie points out that, "Fiber is the most helpful food component to help with constipation, along with staying well hydrated".

As far as specific foods to eat, she lists,"Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all helpful to incorporate for constipation.

Kiwi fruit also contains a compound called actinidin that can help stimulate a bowel movement."

What to eat after the egg retrieval
What to eat after the egg retrieval


Considering taking a laxative?

McKenzie advises that, "strong laxatives should be avoided unless used under medical guidance."

If you get to the point where you feel you need to take a laxative, always check with your care team at the clinic first for what you can use.

Foods to Help Relieve Constipation:
✅ fiber
✅ fruits and veggies (specifically kiwi)
✅ whole grains
✅ nuts & seeds
✅ 64 fl oz liquids
💊 stool softener (if approved by your doctor)

Need a meal idea to make for dinner after the egg retrieval?


Ok, so we have some basics guidelines above for what types of food you should and shouldn't eat after the egg retrieval to help with recovery. But what about a specific meal?

McKenzie suggests, "This lentil stew would be great to prep ahead of time and have ready to go post egg retrieval. It is high in fiber and anti-inflammatory spices, as well as containing great fiber from lentils and veggies that are not as likely to cause bloat."

What are some good snacks to eat post-egg retrieval?


McKenzie advises women to focus on eating snacks that contain protein, carbs, and fat. "And fiber too if it sounds good", she adds.

If you can't think of any snack ideas, don't worry! She gave us a few to help you out.

Easy snacks for after the egg retrieval:
  • peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets 🥨🥜
  • yogurt and granola 🥣
  • fruit and cheese 🥝🧀

Make sure to keep hydrated with water and electrolytes


Proper hydration isn't just about drinking plenty of water. It's important to make sure that you're including electrolytes in order to properly rehydrate your body. 

There are a lot of different electrolyte drinks and powders out there on the market. Some of them contain a lot of sugar and it can be tough to pick out an electrolyte source that will give you what you need. 

We asked McKenzie is she has any specific electrolyte dinks she recommends, sharing that "G2 gatorade and Liquid IV are my go-to electrolyte beverages".

Looking for more tips?


Check out our article on the 6 things to do for recovery after your egg retrieval.

Wondering what your eggs are up to in the IVF lab?

Here, we detail the behind the scenes of embryo development during an IVF cycle so you know what to expect for each day.