Bleeding in IVF Pregnancies

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Bleeding during pregnancy can be incredibly scary. Bleeding during a surrogate pregnancy can be doubly worrisome as so much care has already been taken to attain the pregnancy.

Pregnancies obtained through IVF often have a higher rate of bleeding than a conventional pregnancy. Roughly 40% of women carrying an IVF pregnancy will experience bleeding. The elevated instance of bleeding could be blamed on a number of factors including more vaginal exams and medications being taken to increase blood flow. The blood flow can range from light pink to dark brown and everything from light spotting to menstrual like flow.

The first thing to realize is that many, many women experience bleeding in pregnancy and continue to have a perfectly health pregnancy. Many women assume that the appearance of blood means an inevitable miscarriage is looming. Contrary to that misconception, there are several reasons a woman might experience bleeding during pregnancy, and not all of them are bad. Common causes for bleeding in pregnancy include:

  • Implantation bleeding- caused by blood vessels rupturing as the embryo attaches to the uterine wall.
  • Sub-Chorionic Hemorrhage/Hematoma- A common pooling of blood between the uterine wall and a membrane that surrounds the embryo.
  • Vaginal infection- very common in early pregnancy, and very treatable. Common diagnoses include both yeast and urinary tract infections.
  • Irritation from intercourse
  • Other times bleeding may be present that is unexplained by any obvious cause.
  • Sometimes the bleeding is indeed a sign of a troubled pregnancy.

If you experience bleeding there are a few things you’ll want to do right away. Call or Email your case specialist and nurse representative right away. They’ll likely put you on a form of modified bed rest as a precaution and have you increase your water intake. The most important thing to do is to stay calm and follow medical directions closely.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.