Are you experiencing bloating after egg retrieval or while taking stimulation medications? First, rest assured that bloating is completely normal and is actually one of the most common side effects of egg donation.
Whether you’re preparing for your post-retrieval recovery, in the midst of a cycle, or have already completed your retrieval, we are here to share some tips to help make the bloating go away. We hope these tips help you find some much needed relief!
Some women may experience light to moderate bloating after an egg retrieval, while some others don’t experience any bloating at all. As you get closer to your retrieval date, it’s normal for the bloating to increase as your ovaries have stretched out. Bloating can be caused by the stimulation medications and the egg retrieval procedure itself. As your ovaries return to their normal size post egg retrieval, the bloating should begin to subside.
If you are experiencing severe pain or have any concerns, it’s important to consult with your nurse coordinator or physician to ensure that you are not at risk of OHSS.
Although bloating is water retention, drinking more water with electrolytes helps flush it out. We advise egg donors to drink a ton of fluids throughout the entire egg donation process. Instead of drinking water by itself, add in some electrolyte mix like Nuun or Liquid IV’s. It may be a good idea to have some Gatorade and coconut water on hand, too.
Electrolytes are essential for controlling your fluid balance and can properly rehydrate your body more efficiently than water alone. Common electrolytes include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Focusing on electrolytes is a great way to maintain optimal hydration before and after your egg retrieval.
Eating a balanced diet with an increased intake of foods high in protein, sodium, and fiber can help speed up your recovery. It’s important to nourish your body to help relieve bloating after egg retrieval. Prior to your egg retrieval, it may be helpful to stock up on some easy, hearty go-to meals like chicken noodle soup or lentil stew. We also recommend having some easy, healthy snacks on hand (some ideas listed below!)
A good rule of thumb is to center your meals around lean proteins, like fish or poultry, with sides consisting of a fresh salad, whole grains, or vegetables. For instance, chicken breast, salad, quinoa, and a baked sweet potato (which is high in fiber). Other high-fiber foods include: almonds, avocado, beans, berries, apples, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Below, we share some quick snack and meal ideas for inspiration!
Some easy, healthy snacks to have on hand:
A heating pad may provide you with comfort after your egg retrieval. Using a heating pad on your lower abdomen can help relieve some of the bloating or cramping you may be feeling. Additionally, if you’re feeling gassy after egg retrieval, using a heating pad on your stomach can help relax the muscles in the gut and move gas through the intestines. You could also use a hot water bottle or try taking a hot bath.
Talk to your doctor about which pain reliever you can take after your procedure. Typically, egg donors can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help relieve any discomfort they are feeling after retrieval. However, intended mothers are advised not to take Ibuprofen as it may block prostaglandin production which will interfere with the implantation process.
Be sure to eat a small meal or snack before taking pain medication. Even if you don’t have an appetite, it’s important not to take pain medication on an empty stomach as it may cause you to feel nauseous.
In addition to supplying your body with electrolytes and nutrients, it’s also important to take it easy the first few days after egg retrieval. While some women are able to return to work the next day, others may need a few days to rest and fully recover. This depends on your specific circumstances, but we encourage you to listen to your body and take time to rest if needed.
From our experience, most women say bloating lasts 2-3 days after egg retrieval. However, the duration varies greatly from patient to patient. If you had a large quantity of eggs retrieved, it may take a little bit longer for your ovaries to return to their normal size. If you’re still bloated 5 days after egg retrieval, that’s likely still perfectly normal. For some women, the bloating may not subside until they start their period. However, if you have any concerns about any symptoms, it’s best to consult with your nurse coordinator to receive personalized advice on your post egg retrieval bloating.
To learn more about the egg donation process from egg donors, view our Egg Donor Experiences page. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to your Case Manager.