5 Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

These are what I like to call “good problems” to have. After taking the summer off from trying to conceive, I’m back on the horse and on my 4th attempt for pregnancy at my fertility center. This is my second FET cycle (frozen embryo transfer), the first of which was unsuccessful. I’ve previously also had two fresh IVF cycles, the first of which was unsuccessful, the second of which was technically successful but my water broke at 17 weeks and I lost my twins, so I don’t like using the word “success” there.

But I’m back at it, and I’m excited to be taking fertility meds again. Doing so makes me actually feel like I’m working toward my goal. Actively working! The first hormone I have to take is estrogen: one pill a day, three times daily. I’ll take it for 10 days (I’ve been on it for 4 days already), and then return to my fertility center to have my uterine lining checked for thickness, which the estrogen is supposed to help thicken. From there, we’ll schedule my FET, and God and science willing! I’ll get pregnant.

In the meantime, these are my “good problems.” These are my side effects of estrogen.

  • What Estrogen Does to Me 1 of 6

    Click through to see how estrogen affects me during an FET cycle!

    Original Photo: iStockphoto

  • Massive Blot Clots During My Period 2 of 6
    Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

    I started taking estrogen the first day of my period, as prescribed by my fertility center. And the blood clots that have been a'flowing this cycle have been I'm not even joking massive. Like walnuts-in-their-shell sized. Not painful at all, but huge. This is a "normal" side effect, as my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) informed me.  

    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Dizziness 3 of 6
    Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

    Standing up too quickly leaves me dizzy and lightheaded, as if I just jumped off of a merry-go-round. Sometimes my vision will go ever-so slightly dark with stars, but it doesn't last more than a second or two.  

    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Meh Appetite 4 of 6
    Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

    I love eating. But the estrogen is killing my appetite a bit. I'm just not that hungry, and nothing seems all that appealing to me. 

    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Headache 5 of 6
    Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

    This one is my biggest complaint. I drink a ton of water and always aim to be well hydrated, so consuming more water doesn't help. The estrogen gives me a daily, dull headache that throbs when I move too quickly or suddenly. 

    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Tired 6 of 6
    Side Effects of Estrogen for IVF

    I'm also feeling more tired. It's rare that my alarm wakes me up in the morning, because I usually naturally wake up just a few minutes before it goes off. But the estrogen makes me tired early, and it has me sleeping hard and right until my alarm sounds. I think I'll enjoy that while I still can! 

    Photo: iStockphoto

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