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Trying to conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is Stress.ful enough. But add in a nasty bout of constipation after egg retrieval, and it’s no wonder this procedure can take a toll on your physical and emotional health.

The good news? It is easy to get relief from sphinx. There are many people who have been through this side effect of egg retrieval. There are lots of tips and tricks to get rid of this problem.

How long does it take for you to get relief from your constipation, what causes it, and whether or not it affects embryo implantation are some of the topics covered in this section.

“Constipation can last for a few days after the retrieval, or it might last until the next menstrual cycle when progesterone levels drop,” says Khaled Zeitoun, MD, OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinology & infertility (REI) specialist at New Hope Fertility in New York City.

However, if you get pregnant, Zeitoun says constipation might last much longer because pregnancy also causes high progesterone levels and can give you constipation.

Constipation is a normal side effect after egg retrieval. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Natural remedies can help.

There are five ways to relieve snot after an egg retrieval.

Stay hydrated

After egg retrieval, Zeitoun suggests drinking plenty of water.

That’s because water helps you get rid of waste through bowel movements. Water also aids in preventing constipation by keeping you from becoming dehydrated.

You get water from food. Most of your hydration should come from drinking water.

Water can be found in foods like watermelon, strawberries, apples, cantaloupe, cucumbers, lettuce, skim milk, and soup.

Fill up on fiber

Choosing foods high in fiber may also help relieve constipation after egg retrieval.

That’s because fiber can speed up the transit of stool through the digestive system, allowing you to have regular bowel movements.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women ages 19 to 30 should consume 28 grams of fiber when following a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

The amount is 25 grams for a 1,800-calorie-per-day diet for ages 31 to 50.

Foods with high levels of fiber include:

  • Fruits with skin, such as apples.
  • Vegetables like broccoli.
  • Whole-grain foods include brown rice and cereals.
  • Pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, and flax are all found in these items.

If you eat less fiber than you should, increase the amount you eat. Adding too much fiber too quickly can cause abdominal pain.

Drink a glass of prune juice

“A glass of juice is recommended by Zeitoun. If you don’t like juice, try snacking on some fruit.”

Results from a randomized controlled study found that healthy individuals with infrequent stool habits experienced an increase in stool weight and frequency after consuming prunes.

Increase your magnesium intake

Many foods and supplements contain magnesium.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance or RDA for women ages 19 to 30 is 310 milligrams (mg) and 320 mg for ages 31 to 50. This amount increases once you become pregnant.

If you’re already taking a prenatal vitamin or other supplements, check the amount of magnesium to make sure you’re staying within the RDA for your age.

Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and spinach are high in magnesium. If you want to add magnesium to your routine, you need to talk to your doctor.

Go for a short walk

Walking or jogging can keep your bowels moving.

“Two to three times a day, especially after meals, is the ideal time to walk. If your bowels decide it’s time to empty, make sure you’re close to a bathroom.”

According to Zeitoun, one of the more common side effects of IVF is irritative bowels. If you have been able to dodge this unpleasant condition, you are fortunate. If you are dealing with pain, you might wonder why egg retrieval causes it.

Higher progesterone levels

During an IVF cycle, the levels of the hormones are higher than normal. The colon is made of muscles and therefore it relaxes due to the hormones progesterone and cortisol.


Egg retrievals are performed under anesthesia to keep you asleep and comfortable during the procedure.

Because of this, Iris Insogna, MD, OB-GYN, and reproductive endocrinology/infertility expert at Columbia University Fertility Center, says some people may have constipation as a result of anesthesia, which may temporarily slow the bowels.

Fluid or blood in pelvis

Some women may develop sputum after a procedure, which can cause irritation to the bowels, and it is common to have a little fluid or blood in the pelvis after a procedure.


Janet Choi, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, medical director of CCRM, New York, and Progyny medical advisory board member, says if your doctor gives you the drug Cabergoline to minimize ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) risks, you may also experience constipation.

In addition to natural remedies, Insogna says that yes, you can also use a mild laxative to help with constipation. “This may include stool softeners like Colace and laxatives like Miralax or senna,” she says.

Before you buy any brand of laxatives, talk to your doctor or a pharmacy about the best one for you.

Laxatives have different ingredients. If you are new to taking them, your doctor may want you to start with a mild one and work your way up to a maximum strength.

It is important to read the directions on the drug label and only take the recommended amount. Taking more will not make a difference.

Taking more than you need may make you sick and cause electrolyte disturbances, abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea.

Stimulant laxative

The strongest type of laxatives works by stimulating your bowels. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a stimulant laxative causes the bowel to squeeze, which moves the stools out.

Stimulants are usually only used for a few days. They are not required to have a prescription, and you can buy a laxative at most grocery stores.

Stool softener

If a scurvy laxative is too harsh, you can try a stool softener. A stool softener is a type of laxative that is less harmful to your body than a senhancer.

A stool softener does not cause a bowel movement, but it can help relieve temporary constipation by softening stools to make them easier to pass. They are available over the counter and come in tablets, capsules, liquid, or syrup.

“embryo implantation won’t be affected by Constipation.”

While constipation may not affect embryo implantation during IVF treatment, other risk factors may contribute to recurrent implantation failure or RIF, including:

Constipation is a common side effect after egg retrieval. It only lasts a few days in most cases. It can last until the next menstrual cycle.

Some natural remedies that can help with the pain during this time are listed below. They can give you a recommendation on the best course of action.