Ectopic Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Ectopic Pregnancy – The uterus, or the womb, is the place where the baby grows for 9 months. The ovaries release an egg, which waits in the fallopian tube for the sperm. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, a zygote is formed. This zygote moves through the fallopian tube, reaches the womb (uterus), and gets implanted in the uterine lining. It is what happens in a normal pregnancy.

This entire process highlights the specific function of all the reproductive parts, namely the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the uterus. If the location of fertilization (fallopian tube) or implantation (uterus) changes due to some complications, then the pregnancy cannot be carried to term.

What is Ectopic Pregnancy? 

When the fertilized egg then the pregnancy is known as ectopic pregnancy. When this happens, the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus.

More than 90% of ectopic pregnancies are witnessed in the fallopian tube. In other cases, it is found in the cervix, ovary, or somewhere in the abdomen.

An ectopic pregnancy can never result in a healthy baby. If not treated timely, it can pose a threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Only when the growing embryo gets implanted in the uterus results in a viable and healthy pregnancy.

So, it becomes important to know why it happens in the first place. Then, we need to understand the associated symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

The symptoms, like a missed period, nausea or upset stomach, and breast soreness, are similar to those of uterine pregnancies.

However, various symptoms are typically associated with it that warrant medical intervention. These include:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Severe pain in the abdomen, shoulder, neck, or pelvic region
  • Sudden and sharp pain on one side of the abdominal region
  • Tenderness in the cervix
  • High level of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
  • Rectal pressure

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

1. Getting stuck in the fallopian tube-:

As already mentioned, the majority of ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tubes. It happens because, due to some conditions, the movement of the fertilized egg through the blocked fallopian tube or is slowed down.

Now, because the fertilized egg cannot reach the uterus, it starts to grow in the fallopian tube.

The fallopian tube is not meant to support a growing embryo, so urgent medical attention is required. If not treated timely, it may rupture the fallopian tube.

But why does the growing embryo slow down or get stuck in the tube? 

There are various reasons for this like:

  • A previous pelvic surgery or infection that resulted in scar tissues, adhesions, or inflammations in the fallopian tube.
  • Fallopian tubes are damaged because of sexually transmitted infections (STI) like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
  • Fallopian tubes are irregularly shaped since birth which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to move forward.
  • A growth or fibroid is blocking the fallopian tube.

2. Excessive smoking-

Fine hair-like structures known as cilia are present inside the fallopian tube. Excessive smoking damages the cilia, which can hinder the smooth movement of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tube and result in an ectopic pregnancy. 

3. Age factor-:

Women lying in the age group of 35 to 44 years are at a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. 

4. A previous ectopic pregnancy-

If you have had an ectopic pregnancy earlier, then there is a possibility of future pregnancies also resulting in an ectopic pregnancy.  

5. Endometriosis

It is a medical condition in which the uterus lining grows outside it, like in the pelvic region. It can also be a reason for an ectopic pregnancy. 

6. Intrauterine device (IUD)

IUD is a small device that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. But sometimes, the pregnancy can occur with IUD or tubal ligation in place. Such a pregnancy is often an ectopic pregnancy. In rare cases, IVF treatment can also result in an ectopic pregnancy. 

7. Emergency oral contraception

Sometimes oral contraception fails to prevent pregnancy. In this situation, there is a possibility that the woman can conceive in the same cycle. It may result in an extrauterine pregnancy. 

8. If a woman has pelvic endometrial or genital tuberculosis and she gets pregnant, then chances are that it is an ectopic pregnancy. 

9. Certain medical conditions can affect the shape and functioning of the fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs, which can result in an ectopic pregnancy. 

10 Abdominal surgery

If you have had an abdominal surgery like appendectomy or cesarean section. 

The best thing to do if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, unexplained severe pain, or notice any unusual symptom is to visit a gynecologist without any further delay.

Diagnosis of an Ectopic Pregnancy

The first thing your doctor does is perform a transvaginal ultrasound to trace the location of the developing embryo. An ultrasound cannot help show the pregnancy until the fetus is more than 5 or 6 weeks because, at this time, it is too small to be located.

So a special band-like instrument makes its way into the vagina to provide images of the gestational sac in the womb.

Along with this, the doctor can perform a blood test to determine hCG and progesterone levels in your body. If the level of these two hormones has decreased or is constant over a few days and a gestational sac is absent in the ultrasound, the pregnancy is likely to be ectopic.

In case you are experiencing severe pain or heavy bleeding, all these steps might not be necessary. In extreme cases, the fallopian tube can rupture if not treated timely, which can cause severe internal bleeding. In this situation, the doctor will have to perform an emergency surgery to save the woman’s life.

Treatment of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy

Once it is confirmed, a treatment to remove the embryo without delay is necessary for the mother’s health and life. The line of treatment will depend on the size and location of the ectopic pregnancy.


In the early stages, it can be treated with an injection of methotrexate. This drug helps stop the growth of the developing embryo, and after that, the body absorbs this tissue. Surgery is usually performed when the pregnancy is further along.

To check how well this treatment is working and if you need more doses, another hCG test is performed.

Laparoscopic Surgery

When the laparoscopic surgery, a small cut is made in or near the navel. Then a thin tube connected with a camera lens and light makes its way through this incision to examine the tubal area.

Two laparoscopic surgeries to treat an ectopic pregnancy are salpingostomy and salpingectomy.

The main difference between these two treatments is that in salpingostomy, the ectopic pregnancy is removed, and the fallopian tube is left to heal on its own. But in salpingectomy, the ectopic pregnancy, as well as the tube, is removed.

Abdominal Surgery

In case you are having heavy bleeding due to this, emergency surgery has to be performed. The doctor can go for laparoscopy or laparotomy (abdominal incision). If the fallopian tube is not damaged, then it can be saved, but if the tube is ruptured, it must be removed.

Future Pregnancy

It is possible to have a normal pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy. However, the risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy after a previous one is higher. So, it is best to consult with a gynecologist before planning a pregnancy.

How Imprimis IVF Srinagar can help? 

The diagnosis and treatment of an ectopic pregnancy needs meticulous examination and experience. We at Imprimis IVF can help you remove ectopic pregnancy and plan your future pregnancy.

Bottom line 

Pregnancy is a magical and extremely delicate process. All the reproductive organs involved in pregnancy should be in perfect condition. It is not a very common phenomenon, but it can happen if you have a history of previous ectopic pregnancy, STI, or pelvic surgery. If you face any serious symptoms, you must consult a gynecologist.

Remember, every second matters. If diagnosed timely, your fallopian tube can be saved from rupturing, and the ectopic pregnancy can be removed using medications only. Do not panic if your symptoms are severe; book an appointment with a trusted IVF specialist as soon as possible.

Uterine Fibroids: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A uterine fibroid is an abnormal non-cancerous tumour that grows in or along the outline of the uterine cavity. Another common name for uterine fibroids is myoma.

The Uterine Fibroid also known as:

  • Fibromas
  • Leiomyomas
  • Uterine myomas

Fibroids start to grow from the muscle tissue of the womb (uterus). They are also found to grow in the cervix, fallopian tubes, or tissues surrounding the uterus.

The reason behind uterine fibroids is unknown. Uterine fibroids can be as tiny as a seed or as large as a melon. A woman may have one or many fibroids.

As already mentioned, fibroids are non-cancerous. Also, a majority of women with uterine fibroids do not witness visible symptoms. So, a woman may never know if she has fibroids.

Fibroids are more prevalent in obese women and women who are more than 35 years of age with no children.

In this article, we are going to look at the different types, associated symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of uterine fibroids.

Types of uterine fibroids

Types of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are classified based on their location as discussed below:

  • Intramural Fibroids

    The most common kind of uterine fibroids are intramural fibroids. These fibroids grow in the muscular wall of the womb. These are diagnosed between 30 to 40 years of age.

  • Subserosal Fibroids

    These uterine fibroids are mostly non-cancerous and grow on the outer surface of the uterus, known as serosa. Subserosal fibroids tend to grow quite large, which makes the uterus appear larger on one side. In rare cases, these fibroids can interfere with the functioning of the uterus.

  • Submucosal Fibroids

    These fibroids grow under the surface of the endometrium lining. These fibroids are the least common but cause serious problems like anaemia. 

  • Pedunculated Fibroids

    These fibroids get their name from the word peduncle, which means a stalk-like growth. When fibroids are attached to the womb by a peduncle, these are termed pedunculated fibroids. If these fibroids grow inside the uterus then these are known as pedunculated submucosal fibroids. If these grow outside the womb then we call them pedunculated subserosal fibroids.

  • Cervical Fibroids

    These very rare fibroids grow on the cervix and are hence termed cervical fibroids. 

Uterine Fibroid Symptoms

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Typically, no visible symptoms are associated with uterine fibroids. Visible symptoms are generally noticed in the following three situations:

  • When the size of the fibroids is quite large
  • The number of fibroids
  • location of the fibroids

Some of the most common symptoms associated with fibroids include the following:

  • Heavy Menstruation
  • Prolonged Periods
  • Extreme Pain during Periods
  • Menstrual Clots
  • Feeling Pain or Pressure in the Pelvic Region or lower back
  • Abdomen Enlargement or Swelling
  • Constipation
  • Anaemia
  • Backache
  • Frequent Urge to Urinate
  • Pain during Intercourse

Fibroid Growth during Menopause 

Fibroid growth is quite common after Menopause. When a woman undergoes Menopause, the oestrogen and progesterone levels witness a drop. Both these hormones are known to stimulate the growth of uterine fibroids. There is also a possibility that these fibroids may shrink during or after Menopause. You may not come across any symptoms of fibroid growth.

Complications associated with the presence of uterine fibroids are rare. Some of these rare complications are:
  • If the size of the fibroids is large then it may hamper fertility by blocking the fallopian tubes and preventing the egg from getting implanted.
  • Pregnant women might face some difficulties during labour due to fibroids.
  • In some cases, fibroids may lead to miscarriage or premature birth.

Uterine Fibroid Causes

The cause of fibroid is still a mystery. However, medical experts believe genetic and hormonal factors govern the growth of fibroids in women.

The pregnancy hormone oestrogen, which is active during a woman’s reproductive age, is known to play a role in the development of fibroids.

When a woman is on her period, the uterine lining gets regenerated because of the pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone. This regeneration stimulates the growth of uterine fibroids. These fibroids may shrink during Menopause.  

Family History

Also influences the growth of fibroids. If your grandmother, mother, or sister had fibroids, then you may also notice fibroid development.

Age also has a role to play in fibroid growth. Women who are 30 years old or older are at a higher risk of developing uterine fibroids.

High body weight also influences the development of uterine fibroids.

Fibroids may also grow during pregnancy. During this time, the production of estrogen and progesterone increases. However, the chances of pregnant women developing fibroids are far lesser than non-pregnant women.

When to See a Doctor? 

Fibroids generally do not lead to any complications. So they do not need medical attention. But in case of menstrual irregularities or disorders like frequent or heavy bleeding, you should visit a IVF treatment Centre near you.

Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids 

It is not possible to confirm the presence of fibroids without visiting a IVF expert who will run some diagnostic tests and develop a further treatment plan if needed.

Here are some tests to examine the presence of fibroids:

  • Pelvic examination-: In a pelvic examination, the gynaecologist will check the condition of the vagina, the uterus, and both ovaries. 
  • X-ray-As the name suggests, this test uses X-rays to produce clear pictures of the uterus. 
  • Pelvic Magnetic Resonance Imaging- This in-depth imaging test helps produce images of ovaries, uterus, and other pelvic organs by using magnets and radio waves. 
  • Ultrasound-This test is performed on the abdomen with high-frequency sound waves used to produce images of the internal structure of the uterus and fibroids, if any. 
  • Computed tomography scan- Popularly known as CT scan, makes use of X-rays to examine the presence of fibroids in or on the uterus from different angles. 
  • Laparoscopy-: In laparoscopy, thin cuts are made near the navel, and a thin, long scope finds its way into the uterus through these cuts to check for the presence of fibroids. 
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): The HSG test uses a contrast dye that is injected into the womb, and simultaneously X-ray pictures are produced to detect fibroids. 
  • Sonohysterogram: This test is carried out by injecting water into the uterus, which helps in the production of images using ultrasound.
  • Hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is performed with the help of a long and thin scope with a light attached to its end. It is then directed through the vagina and cervix into the uterus to detect fibroids. 

Natural ways to treat or prevent further growth of uterine fibroids

Be it any complication in the body, food, and lifestyle choices can make or break the deal. If you do away with poor dietary and lifestyle choices and opt for the below-mentioned options, then you can witness some positive changes.

Make sure you keep your body healthy and keep your body weight in control by:
  • Practicing yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Exercising regularly
The food you eat also plays a huge role, so include the following in your diet:
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Green tea
  • Tuna and Salmon

Another important point is to avoid red meat, ham, and high-calorie processed food.

Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

When talking about the treatment of fibroids, people think that surgery is the only available option. But in the majority of cases, there is no need for surgical intervention. The treatment option depends on the location, number, and severity of fibroids.

Various treatment options available in the form of medications to treat fibroids are as follows:

  • Hormone medications: Your health provider can prescribe some hormone medications to help shrink the fibroids.
  • Medications for period pain: Medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate period pain.
  • Hormone-releasing device: It is placed in the womb, which helps keep heavy menstruation in control.
  • Supplements: Take Vitamin D or Iron supplements to manage heavy menstrual bleeding.
If the complications are more severe and medications don’t seem to help, then the following surgical options can help:
  • Radiofrequency ablation: Radiofrequency ablation surgery makes use of heat to destroy and shrink fibroid tumours without affecting the tissues surrounding them.
  • Myomectomy: This surgical operation removes fibroid tissues without causing any harm to surrounding healthy tissue present in the womb.
  • Endometrial ablation: For this, the surgeon destroys the uterine lining with the help of a laser, wire loops, boiling water, electric current, microwaves, or freezing. Endometrial ablation greatly helps to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding. Medical experts advise you to opt for this surgery only if you have no plans of conceiving a baby in the future. 
  • Myolysis: This surgical operation is used to destroy fibroid tissues using electrical current or freezing with the help of a needle.
  • Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) or Uterine artery embolization (UAE): This surgery is undertaken to shrink fibroids. A thin tube is placed in the blood vessels of the fibroid tissue. Then, gel particles are injected into these vessels to block the supply of blood to the fibroid.
  • Hysterectomy: In this medical procedure, the entire womb (uterus) is taken out. This surgery is performed when the size of the fibroids is quite large or when uncontrolled menstrual bleeding. Just like endometrial ablation, hysterectomy should only be considered as an option when you have no plans to become pregnant in the future

Bottom line

Uterine fibroids have become common these days. These are largely non-cancerous, so they do not warrant urgent medical attention or treatment. Medications or treatment options should only be taken into consideration if there are severe complications due to the presence of fibroids; otherwise, there is no harm in living with fibroids.

But it is very important to see a doctor if you feel the need to do so. Also, take care of your reproductive health by adopting healthy eating habits, staying active, and keeping stress levels under control.

Sperm Cramps – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment


In the realm of fertility, understanding the nuances of male reproductive health is crucial. One commonly overlooked aspect is the occurrence of sperm cramps. Despite being less discussed, sperm cramps can have significant implications for male fertility. In this blog, we will get into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of sperm cramps, shedding light on a topic that deserves more attention.

What Are Sperm Cramps?

Before we get into the details, let’s understand what sperm cramps mean. Sperm cramps, also known as testicular pain, are when you feel discomfort or pain in your testicles or scrotum. This could be a sign of problems with your male reproductive health.

Causes of Sperm Cramps

Understanding the root causes of sperm cramps is essential for effective management. Drawing insights from leading fertility experts and research, here are some common causes to be aware of:

Varicocele – Swollen Veins Impacting Sperm Flow:

  • Varicocele specifically involves the enlargement of veins in the scrotum, creating a network of swollen blood vessels.
  • This vascular anomaly can impede normal blood flow, causing discomfort and cramping in the affected area.
  • Over time, compromised blood circulation may negatively impact sperm quality and fertility potential.

Infections – STIs and Reproductive System Infections:

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) chlamydia or gonorrhea can infiltrate the reproductive system, leading to localized infections.
  • Infections in the reproductive organs can trigger inflammation and pain, influencing the overall health of sperm.
  • Timely detection and treatment of these infections are crucial for preventing long-term complications and addressing sperm cramps.

 Testicular Torsion – Urgent Twisting of the Testicle:

  • Testicular torsion is a critical condition involving the sudden twisting of the testicle, compromising blood flow.
  • This emergency is marked by a sudden and intense onset of pain, requiring immediate medical attention to prevent harm to the tissues.
  • Testicular torsion is a time-sensitive issue, and swift intervention is vital for preserving both fertility and overall reproductive health.

 Epididymitis – Inflammation of the Sperm Transport Tube:  

  • Epididymitis specifically refers to the inflammation of the epididymis, a coiled tube responsible for storing and transporting sperm.
  • Inflammation in this crucial reproductive structure can lead to persistent pain and discomfort in the scrotum.
  • Addressing the underlying cause of epididymitis is essential for alleviating symptoms and preserving sperm health.

Hernia – Impact on Reproductive Organ Function:

  • A hernia, though primarily associated with the protrusion of abdominal contents, can contribute to testicular pain.
  • In cases where a hernia affects the inguinal region, it may exert pressure on the surrounding structures, including the reproductive organs.
  • Understanding and addressing the impact of a hernia on the normal functioning of the reproductive system is key to managing associated discomfort.

Symptoms of Sperm Cramps

Recognizing the symptoms associated with sperm cramps is vital for early intervention. Here’s a breakdown of common indicators:

Pain or Discomfort – Location and Intensity:

  • The pain associated with sperm cramps is often localized to the testicles or scrotum.
  • It may manifest as a dull ache, throbbing sensation, or intermittent sharp pain.
  • The intensity of the discomfort can vary, ranging from mild irritation to more severe, persistent pain.

Swelling or Tenderness – Observable Changes:  

  • Swelling in the scrotal area may result from the underlying causes of sperm cramps, such as varicocele or infections.
  • Tenderness can be assessed by touch, and individuals may notice increased sensitivity or discomfort when the affected area is palpated.
  • Observing any noticeable changes in the size or texture of the scrotum is crucial for identifying potential issues related to sperm cramps.

Changes in Sperm Quality – Impact on Fertility:  

  • Sperm cramps can influence the quality of sperm, potentially affecting fertility.
  • Changes in sperm quality may include alterations in sperm motility, sperm morphology, or concentration.
  • Monitoring fertility indicators, such as changes in ejaculate consistency or colour, can provide insights into potential disruptions in sperm quality associated with sperm cramps.

Diagnosis of Sperm Cramps

Proper diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. Fertility specialists employ various diagnostic measures, including:

Physical Examination – Targeted Assessment of Reproductive Structures:

  • A comprehensive physical examination focuses on the scrotum and surrounding areas, aiming to identify specific abnormalities related to sperm cramps.
  • Fertility specialists will assess for the presence of swelling, tenderness, or irregularities in the testicles, scrotum, and epididymis.
  • Special attention may be given to palpation techniques to gauge the severity and location of pain, aiding in the identification of potential causes.

Ultrasound Imaging – Precision in Reproductive Organ Assessment:   

  • Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive technique used to visualize the internal structures of the scrotum and reproductive organs.
  • High-frequency sound waves provide detailed images, allowing specialists to assess the size, shape, and blood flow in the testicles.
  • Specific ultrasound protocols may be employed to target areas affected by conditions like varicocele or testicular torsion, aiding in accurate diagnosis.

Blood Tests – Hormonal and Infectious Markers:

  • Blood tests are crucial for evaluating hormonal imbalances that may contribute to sperm cramps.
  • We check hormone levels like testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to find any irregularities that might affect reproductive function.
  • Additionally, blood tests can detect markers of infection, helping to diagnose and treat any underlying infections contributing to sperm cramps.

By enhancing the specificity of each diagnostic measure, individuals can better understand the purpose and significance of these assessments in the context of sperm cramps. This clarity is essential for fostering informed discussions with healthcare providers and ensuring a thorough and accurate diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Sperm Cramps

Addressing sperm cramps often involves a tailored approach based on the underlying cause. Referencing insights from leading fertility treatment centres, here are some common treatment options:

Varicocele Repair – Precision in Vein Correction:       

  • Varicocele repair involves a surgical procedure to precisely address the enlargement of veins within the scrotum.
  • Microsurgical techniques may be employed to ligate or redirect the affected veins, restoring normal blood flow to the testicles.
  • This targeted intervention aims not only to alleviate sperm cramps but also to enhance sperm quality by improving the overall reproductive environment.

Antibiotic Therapy – Targeted Eradication of Infections:   

  • Antibiotic therapy is prescribed when infections are identified as the cause of sperm cramps.
  • The choice of antibiotics is specific to the type of infection diagnosed through laboratory tests.
  • It’s important to finish the entire antibiotic treatment to make sure the infection is eliminated. This helps address the root cause of discomfort and supports optimal reproductive health.

Pain Management – Customized Relief Strategies:

  • Pain management for sperm cramps may involve over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Specific pain relief measures are tailored to the individual’s needs, taking into account factors such as the severity of pain and any underlying conditions.
  • Non-pharmacological approaches, such as applying cold or warm compresses, may also be recommended for targeted relief.

Surgical Intervention – Timely Addressing of Critical Conditions:   

  • Surgical intervention becomes necessary in severe cases, such as testicular torsion or hernias.
  • Timely surgical procedures are essential for preventing irreversible damage and preserving fertility.
  • Surgical techniques may vary based on the specific condition, ranging from detorsion in testicular torsion cases to hernia repair to alleviate pressure on reproductive structures.

Offering detailed information on each treatment option empowers individuals to grasp a deeper understanding of the available interventions for addressing sperm cramps tailored to their unique circumstances. This knowledge is essential for making well-informed decisions through discussions with healthcare professionals.


In conclusion, the journey through the intricacies of sperm cramps and male infertility reveals the nuanced nature of reproductive health. Key takeaways underscore the importance of understanding sperm cramps, acknowledging the significance of male fertility, and recognizing the role it plays in the broader context of family-building.

Sperm cramps are not just challenges; they are opportunities for informed decision-making. Understanding the intricacies of male fertility empowers individuals to navigate this journey with clarity and purpose. At Imprimis IVF, we stand as partners in your pursuit of parenthood.

Schedule a Consultation at Imprimis IVF

As you embark on your fertility journey, Imprimis IVF extends an invitation to schedule a consultation for personalized fertility assessments. This call to action is an opportunity to take the next step toward understanding and addressing your unique fertility landscape.

Your journey to parenthood begins with a conversation. Schedule a consultation at Imprimis IVF, where our dedicated team is ready to provide personalized fertility assessments, answer your questions, and guide you toward the most effective and individualized fertility plan.

What is a trigger shot in IVF

IVF Trigger Shot – In-vitro Fertilisation treatment commonly known as IVF consists of various stages. You will be exposed to medications and tests at every step. This is done to increase the success rates of the treatment. Medications are administered to the couple as per their needs. The most common medication that is administered to women comes in the form of a trigger shot.

In this article, we are going to understand what is a trigger shot in IVF, its need, side effects, precautions, administration, and its role in deciding the success rate of the entire IVF procedure.

IVF and Trigger Shot

Pregnancy is the result of the formation of an embryo when the fusion of egg and sperm happens in the fallopian tube. But what if the egg is not mature or in the worst scenario no egg is released by the ovaries?

This is where In-vitro Fertilisation and trigger shot comes into the picture.

IVF is the most suitable treatment option for couples who have the following medical conditions-:

What is a Trigger Shot?

The word trigger means to start or initiate and shot means injection. Combining these two we can say that a trigger shot is a hormonal injection that initiates the maturation and release of eggs by the ovaries.

The two most common trigger shots widely used for IVF are hCG and Lupron. hCG which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone while Lupron is a drug.

Lupron is a non-hCG drug that is often recommended when the woman has a high risk of developing OHSS. Otherwise, hCG as a trigger shot is the first choice of fertility experts around the globe.

A trigger shot is not a necessary step in IVF.

It entirely depends on your requirements. The doctor will thoroughly analyze the ovulation process and other aspects to develop a treatment plan for you.

What is the need for a Trigger Shot?

Every woman has two ovaries which are responsible for releasing a mature egg every month for fertilisation. The quality of this egg and the well-being of the reproductive system decide your chances of getting pregnant.

In many infertility cases, the ovaries are not able to release mature eggs every month. This entire process of egg maturation and release is governed by Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Poor quality eggs mean poor chances of pregnancy. A trigger shot helps address this problem associated with IVF treatment.

For this, we need to understand what the IVF procedure is all about.

In-vitro Fertilisation is the process of fertilization that takes place naturally in the fallopian tubes on a petri dish in a laboratory.

For this to happen the eggs released by the ovaries are collected by the doctor.

Trigger shot makes sure the ovaries produce mature eggs which can develop into strong and healthy embryos. They are vigilantly monitored by fertility experts and get implanted in the uterine cavity.

Ideally, a trigger shot is used when:

  • The ovaries are unable to release eggs on their own naturally

Timing the release of eggs for the egg retrieval process for IVF

  • The underlying cause of infertility is unknown

How long after the trigger shot does it take for you to ovulate?

It will take around 24 to 36 hours for the mature eggs to be released by the ovaries after the administration of the trigger shot.

Does the trigger shot stay in your body for too long?

Typically half of the initial concentration of the hCG injection is active for 24 to 36 hours inside your system. The remaining half concentration will also come out of your system depending on your metabolism, method of administration, and body mass index. It roughly takes 10 days for the injected hCG to come out.

When to take a Pregnancy Test?

hCG is secreted after implantation of the embryo in the uterine cavity. This happens naturally to maintain the levels of estrogen and progesterone. When you take a pregnancy test after implantation it turns positive due to the presence of hCG in the urine.

But when an hCG trigger shot is administered to you there are chances that you will witness false positives on the pregnancy test kit.

So when is the right time to take a pregnancy test following a IVF trigger shot?

It is best to wait for at least 14 to 15 days after the trigger shot. To confirm the implantation it is best to visit your fertility expert after taking an at-home pregnancy test.

Early signs of pregnancy post-trigger shot may include breast tenderness, fatigue, missed periods, frequent urination, and nausea.

When to take the IVF Trigger Shot?

Timing of the trigger shot is extremely important in an IVF cycle. The fertility specialist will closely monitor the growth of ovarian follicles. Once the doctor is satisfied with the size of the dominant follicle which should be above 16-18 millimetres trigger shot will be administered to you. Then you will be asked to have sexual intercourse after a few hours to increase the chances of fertilization.

This greatly helps the doctor to schedule your IUI treatment in which the sperm is directly injected into your uterine cavity.

For IVF, the trigger shot will help decide the best time for the egg retrieval process. You will be asked to take the trigger shot 34 to 36 hours before your scheduled egg retrieval appointment. This promotes the process of meiosis: a process of cellular division.

This gives a good chance to collect all the good quality chromosomally normal mature eggs for fertilization with a motile and healthy sperm.

The timing of the trigger shot will vary from clinic to clinic and according to the development of your egg follicles.

Set an alarm, ask someone in your family to remind you, and put a sticky note on the refrigerator. But do not take it lightly, timing has a lot to do with the quality of eggs that will be retrieved.

How to take the IVF Trigger Shot?

You will need a prefilled Ovidrel syringe, alcohol swab, and gauze.

First step-: Clean the injection site properly.

Second step-: Take the syringe and place it on the abdomen, a few inches from your navel.

Third step-: Disinfect the area with alcohol to minimize the chances of infection.

Fourth step-: Direct the needle at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees and empty the contents in the syringe.

The doctor will personally guide you on how to take the trigger shot. If you do not feel confident in taking the shot yourself then you can visit your fertility expert for help.

Side effects of Trigger Shot

There are no harmful side effects associated with the administration of a trigger shot. However, pain or irritation at the injection site is quite common. You might also experience abdominal cramps or mild bloating.

A concerning side effect is OHSS. It stands for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. It is a result of swelling of ovaries which leads to fluid leakage in other parts of the body. Sometimes trigger shots stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual which leads to OHSS.

The good news is that OHSS is not a common side effect.

If you have mild OHSS you might have the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

Cases of moderate and severe OHSS are quite rare. Some common symptoms of severe OHSS are as follows:

  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Constant vomiting
  • Formation of blood clots
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Decreased urination

If you feel something is not right consult your fertility expert without thinking twice. Do not let your stress levels shoot up. IVF success rates are largely dependent on your stress management skills.

Is the administration of a trigger shot painful

The intensity of pain from a trigger shot largely depends on your sensitivity to injections. The method of administration also has a role to play.

Trigger shots can be administered in two ways namely intramuscular and subcutaneous.

Intramuscular means the injection is administered into the muscle. While subcutaneous means administration of the shot under the skin.

The specialists prefer to go for subcutaneous administration of IVF trigger shot which is less painful.

Sometimes the injection spot becomes red, itchy, or inflamed. But the discomfort lasts only for a day or two and these signs go away.

What to do if you miss your trigger shot?

First of all, do not panic and take some deep breaths. Visit your fertility expert to discuss the situation and further the line of action.

Find the right Fertility Clinic

The role of the fertility center in your infertility treatment journey can’t be emphasized enough. From tracking the progress of the egg follicles to retrieving the mature eggs the entire procedure demands a team of experts.

If you are looking for a fertility center in Srinagar then look no further. We at Imprimis IVF are here to guide you in your journey towards parenthood.

Visit us at Imprimis IVF, Srinagar for more information.

Final Words

Trigger shot plays a vital role in IVF treatment but it is not for everyone. Every individual is unique and so are the requirements. Do not follow everything that is written on the web and visit a doctor.

Let your doctor decide what’s best for your IVF journey. But if trigger shots are involved in your plan then make sure you are punctual and follow your doctor’s instructions religiously.

Trust the process and your efforts. Follow a healthy lifestyle and keep your stress levels in check. We hope this article by Imprimis IVF was helpful to you.