Throughout your medical cycle you will be asked to keep multiple appointments at clinic near your home. During these visits, you will typically have blood taken and have a transvaginal ultrasound. The purpose of the blood sample is to monitor and evaluate the hormone levels in your blood. The purpose of the ultrasound is a bit more involved.
Typically, the ultrasound will check for just two things, the thickness of your endometrial lining, and the presence of the “triple stripe,” or pattern of your uterus. Sometimes, however, the ultrasound will highlight the presence of potential abnormalities in your uterus. One of these potential abnormalities is the presence of fluid in the uterus.
Many women will have some amount of fluids in the uterus, and this is not always a cause for concern. Everything from leftover menstrual blood to normal bodily secretions can cause fluid to appear on an ultrasound. It is when the fluids continue to be retained or appear in larger amounts that it becomes a problem in IVF procedures.
Additional fluid in the uterus is problematic because it will interfere with a transferred embryo’s ability to effectively implant into the uterine lining. In general, the presence of additional fluids in the uterus tends to cause a cancellation of your current cycle. Occasionally, the fluid may be able to be drained from your uterus in an effort to salvage the cycle.
Your IVF doctor will work to determine the cause of the additional fluid in your uterus and take corrective measures to avoid having it occur in a future medical cycle. Sometimes a slight adjustment of your fertility or hormone medications can resolve the fluid retention in a subsequent cycle.
There is nothing that you can, or should, attempt to do on your own to correct the fluid retention within your uterus. Rarely, doctors may be unable to determine the cause of the fluid, or unable to stop it from recurring. If this is the case, it may be recommended that you not proceed as a surrogate. Your nurse and IVF doctor can also speak with you about any medical questions you may have.
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