Bleeding during both natural and induced pregnancies is generally seen as an alarming concern as it raises fears of a miscarriage. However, it is important to note that a healthy pregnancy can still occur even after instances of bleeding.
In in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies, bleeding has been noted in around 40 percent cases. This can be attributed to a variety of factors some of which are listed below.
- Bleeding can be caused during embryo implantation. During this process when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall the blood vessels can rupture, causing bleeding.
- Another condition that can result in bleeding is the occurrence of sub-chorionic hemorrhage or hematoma. This happens due to the pooling of blood between the uterine wall and the membrane that surrounds the embryo.
- Vaginal infections like yeast and urinary tract infections that are quite common in early pregnancy are another possible cause of bleeding.
- Sexual intercourse during pregnancy can cause irritation leading to bleeding.
- Apart from these factors, bleeding can also be a sign of miscarriage.
Bleeding During Onset of the Last Period Before IVF
The beginning of the IVF cycle is denoted by the onset of the menstrual period. The first day of the menstrual cycle indicates to your gynaecologist that you are ready for superovulation, i.e. controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
During this period, the bleeding witnessed is simply the shedding of the lining of the endometrium or uterus. This natural process does not affect the IVF treatment in any way.
The timing of the menstrual period has no role to play in the IVF results unless you are planning to travel abroad for your IVF treatment. In such cases, the doctor will prescribe birth control pills, which work by decreasing the chances of any interference with the start of the menstrual cycle.
Bleeding Post Egg Collection
During egg collection in IVF pregnancies, eggs are retrieved by sticking a needle through the vaginal wall. This can result in spotting or bleeding. Generally, the bleeding is negligible; however, you must report it to the doctor if it is an excessive report as it can be risky.
In some cases, bleeding also occurs in the cervix during embryo transfer. This occurs when the doctor has to manipulate your cervix because of technical difficulty during the transfer.
Bleeding During the First Trimester
In the first trimester in an IVF pregnancy, bleeding is not common as in the luteal phase, estrogen and progesterone support is provided to the uterine lining.
In IVF pregnancies, bleeding in the first trimester occurs due to
- Luteal insufficiency
- Multiple pregnancies
- Hyper stimulation caused due to HMG-induced ovulation
Seek immediate medical help if bleeding occurs during the first trimester.
To conclude, bleeding does occur in IVF pregnancies and not always does it signify a miscarriage or a troubled pregnancy. There are many factors as stated above that can result in spotting or bleeding at various stages of an IVF pregnancy. Seek guidance from your doctor and stay informed about what different types of bleeding may denote.