Finding Fluid in Your Uterus Via Ultrasound

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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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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: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari 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.