Signs and Symptoms after your Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

During the two-week period between your frozen embryo transfer (FET) and pregnancy test, several symptoms like menstruation may arise. However, it is completely okay to have no symptoms after your embryo transfer. Everyone is different and each person has different signs or symptoms.

Moreover, let’s uncover some of the symptoms you may experience after your embryo transfer and what they may mean.

1. Cramping and pelvic pain

While many women often experience cramping before and during a menstrual cycle, pelvic discomfort may be present after an embryo transfer procedure.  During your 2-week wait, pelvic discomfort and cramping may also be related to progesterone, fertility medications or implantation.

For some women, cramping may occur immediately after any pelvic procedure.

2. Light spotting or bleeding

Often, light spotting can be the first signs after your transfer.  If you notice light bleeding on your underwear or toilet paper when you wipe, this could be an indicator that the embryo may have implanted on your uterus wall.

Spotting can occur when taking hormone medications, like progesterone, during the 2-week period after the embryo transfer.

3. Fatigue and tiredness

Feeling tired is a normal part for women undergoing assisted reproductive procedures and fertility medications. As progesterone levels increase, you may feel extra fatigued early on in your fertility journey.   If you are feeling fatigued after your embryo transfer and during the 2-week wait, make sure to get plenty of rest.

4. Tender, sore breasts

For some women, may experience a sign of tender or sensitive breasts. If your breasts are swollen or tender to touch, this could be a sign of a positive embryo transfer and this could also be a side effect of your injectable and oral progesterone or other fertility hormones you take during the two-week wait.

5. Nausea

Morning sickness is not usually symptom women normally experience in the 2-week wait after a frozen embryo transfer.  Women experience vomiting or nausea during the two-week wait are encourage you to speak to your fertility specialist.

6. Increased need to urinate

Some women may notice an increased need to urinate, and this may be due to hormonal changes. However, if you are experiencing painful urination, bleeding, fever, or vomiting, please contact your fertility specialist.

7. Missed period

If you have a consistent, regular menstrual cycle and you missed your period following an embryo transfer, this could be a positive sign. Follow up with your fertility specialist if you missed your period following a transfer.

What if I have no symptoms after your embryo transfer?

If you have not experienced any of the above symptoms, don’t worry.   Some women do not have symptoms following their embryo transfer.

Positive signs after an embryo transfer are hard to distinguish from premenstrual symptoms and early signs of pregnancy, so it is best to avoid interpreting them as one or the other.

It is important to note that, although medical procedures inherently carry risks, an established fertility clinic has doctors who are highly trained in assisted reproductive treatments, which further lowers your chance of contracting a rare complication.

What to remember after an embryo transfer?

Ensure you are getting enough sleep and avoid substances that could risk a pregnancy, such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

In most cases, you will be asked to avoid heavy exercise and sexual intercourse, as possible uterine contractions can reduce the efficacy of the procedure if the embryo is hindered during the implantation process. This recommendation is also given to promote your comfort and safety.  Physical activity may bring a higher risk of complications.

You should also eat a healthy diet consisting of lots of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and fresh produce.  Another essential component to being healthy during this time is ensuring you have emotional support and people to turn to as you wait for the hopeful results.

This support can come in many forms of a partner or family member, a friend, or even an online Facebook group of people going through the same process.