For those who have had to turn to fertility drugs, or are going the IVF procedure route, then inevitably there have been some side effects as a result of the IVF meds, which include many fertility medications. Along with these various medications are the side effects, which can range from mildly inconvenient, to downright debilitating. Is there anything you can do to offset some of the side effects? Actually YES.
Side Effect Palooza (fertility meds a go-go)
Some of the more notorious fertility meds for causing side effects are those that stimulate ovulation, such as Clomid, Ovidrel, or Pregnyl, to name a few. The most common complaint, and one that goes away for most women over time, include hot flashes, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches, mood swings, and sometimes the blues. Most doctors know to automatically prescribe the lowest possible dosage, but just in case, you should hedge your bets and ask them if they are writing you a script for the lowest dosage as you are concerned about side effects. This is especially essential if it is the first time taking this particular fertility med.
Meds for the Fertility Meds
In general, there are a couple of medications that reduce the symptoms and are over the counter remedies. For injection site tenderness, most recommend a simple pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol. Treating cramping with a heating pad, much like you would for cramping during menstruation, is often enough to relieve the symptoms. However, if the symptoms last more than a few days, or become more severe, don’t wait it out. Call your doctor immediately.
Believe it or not, getting some exercise, and drinking water, can alleviate many of the symptoms. Many women report, on numerous forums, that getting out and taking a walk, and making sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day helped the symptoms to go away. This may be due to the increase in metabolism and the water helps to circulate and cushion the impact of the fertility meds. Likewise, many forms of fertility drugs do better when you have a little something on your stomach before taking them.
Pampering Yourself During Fertility Med Cycles
To prevent pain and bruising from an injectable, many women ice the site down first, then warm the injected site after administering the shot. This keeps the area from discoloring. In some instances, like with the follicle stimulating hormones used with IVF, there may be weight gain, and mood swings. This is temporary, and most doctors recommend taking it easy on yourself, pampering yourself a little, even. Some of the bloating when using FSH hormones comes from the increased surface area of the ovary itself. Usually it is the size of a walnut, but when fertility meds have their way with them, they can swell to as large as a plum. This can make you feel bloated and heavy. Once you are off of the drugs, or once your body adjusts to the extra ‘juice’, it should settle down.
The takeaway from all of this is that fertility meds, IVF drugs, and other assisted reproduction medications can carry with them a small cost, most of that cost ranging from irritability (PMS overdrive) or bloating/nausea. Most of this goes away over a short period of time, and can be taken care of at home. Other, more serious symptoms, or symptoms that do not go away within a few days’ time, need to be addressed by your caregiver immediately.