Stabbing Pain After Egg Retrieval: What Are Causes And Treatments?

The stabbing pain after egg retrieval may be a common problem many ladies have overcome.

Yet, anyone struggling with this must be worried about your upcoming pregnancy.

This article helps you tackle the doubts and panic about the egg retrieval process with useful information and a complete guide to recover.

Furthermore, you will understand why egg retrieval can cause such pain. Also, we recommend some effective treatments to reduce your pain quickly.

Keep reading for further details.

What Is Egg Retrieval?

What Is Egg Retrieval

The term egg retrieval refers to the second stage of In Vitro Fertilization (or IVF), also called assisted reproductive technology.

If you want to apply IVF to control infertility, you will receive a course of egg-stimulating medication before starting this second phase.

For this process, the doctor makes an appointment before ovulation begins. Egg collection can take about 5 to 15 minutes to finish.

After administering anesthesia, he proceeds as follows.

First, he locates follicles with ultrasound scans and inserts the needle of hollow suction with a catheter through the uterus into the vag.

If you feel sore after the ultrasound scan, inform the doctor right away.

The follicular fluid containing mature oocytes will be aspirated into a test tube. Next, he will mark and label the samples accordingly.

Stabbing Pain After Egg Retrieval: What Are The Causes?

stabbing pain after egg retrieval

The sharp stabbing pain originates from various causes after the retrieval weeks.

Some common reasons you shouldn’t ignore are OHSS, ovarian cysts, enlarged ovaries, internal and vaginal wall bleeding, or pelvic and ovary infection.

Let’s learn more about the necessary information about each cause below.

OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome)

OHSS occurs when hormones and medication overstimulate the ovaries. This causes the ovaries to become painful and swollen.

If your doctor overstimulates your ovaries with IVF fertility drugs, your OHSS risk may increase. The ovaries swell as fluid accumulates and leaks, surging deep pain.

Minor OHSS symptoms can come with vomiting, nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea, and bloatedness, moderate abdominal pain.

Yet, serious OHSS may entail severe nausea, abdominal pain with persistent vomiting, breath shortness, dark-colored and decreased urination, low blood pressure, and fast weight gain.

These symptoms often appear 4-5 days after egg retrieval. Mild symptoms cease in about 2 weeks, but more serious ones require immediate medical attention and hospitalization.

Ovarian Cysts

The Hawaii Fertility Institute lists ovarian cysts as popular in infertile patients, especially IVF patients. After the mature eggs’ removal, fluid can build up in the ovaries and lead to cysts.

This condition shows through pains in the abdomen.

Luckily, cysts can go away over time, but it’s best to go to your doctor soon to prevent unexpected effects on your fertility treatments.

Enlarged Ovaries

As the surgeon can work to retrieve the egg, the ovary grows. If you try to shrink it to its normal size, you will feel a sharp pain 3 days after egg retrieval.

Also, the time of getting back to your usual condition is painful. It describes cramping pain in the abdomen.

Internal & Vaginal Bleeding

Internal or vaginal bleeding is another culprit of this problem. The chance of this happening is only 0.1%.

Bleeding can be due to the perforation of blood vessels during the egg retrieval in the abdomen.

This ends up with severe pain just felt after surgery.

The blood irritates the diaphragm and can result in despair at the tip of the shoulder—the constant pains are also one of the clear symptoms of internal bleeding after egg retrieval.

Internal bleeding is possible after minor surgery, but it’s rare. Studies show that just 1 in 1,000 women can undergo internal bleeding after surgery.

If you fall into this minority, you will experience sharp pain 4 days after egg retrieval.

Besides, blood loss of 100 ml or more owing to vaginal bleeding may appear in about 1% of egg retrieval surgeries and often disappear quickly.

Pelvic And Ovary Infection

Depending on the surgeon’s expertise and experience, ovarian and pelvic infections can occur. How do you know if you have an infection after egg retrieval? 

Aside from bad pain, other pelvic and ovary infection symptoms can be vaginal discharge and fever.

Yet, the pain will go away in 2 to 3 days. Thus, go to the doctor and ask for the proper medication if you have chronic, persistent pain.

How To Treat The Pain?

How To Treat The Pain

The excruciating pain after egg retrieval can bring you severe discomfort. Let’s take some useful tips below to soothe your stabbing pain best.

Take a Rest

As with any surgery, you should rest well, especially after egg retrieval.

You must avoid arduous activities, such as twisting or bending, which can damage the ovaries and make the pain more serious.

Postpone the rigorous daily exercise for later, after you completely recover.

Take more time to relax and rest to get a faster healing. Try to sleep well or watch an amazing movie that helps in recovery.

Take Medications

After surgery, pain, such as vaginal pain, cramping, bloating, or slight bruising, usually lasts several days.

Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (brands such as Tylenol) may help relieve pelvic pain.

If the pain is severe, your doctor can prescribe a medicine named Vicodin.

Yet, Vicodin already contains 500 mg of paracetamol and is not a recommended choice with other paracetamol medications.

Excessive consumption of paracetamol within 24 hours can lead to dangerous health problems.

Use A Heating Pad

Have a warm heating pad ready after you return home. Using a nice heating pad and placing it on the abdomen can help relieve vaginal pain and spasms due to egg retrieval better.

Use Tylenol

Along with a heat pack, get more Tylenol to ease minor discomfort.

After egg retrieval, you shouldn’t take certain medications, such as ibuprofen. Consult your doctor about the types of pain relievers you may use.

Drink Electrolytes and Lots Of Water

To eliminate bloating and constipation caused by excess water buildup in the ovaries, take water and electrolytes as much as possible.

Doing so will bring everything back into balance and prevent your body from maintaining this extra water reserve.

If you’re seeking something with less sugar, try Pedialyte, coconut water, and a powder of electrolytes mixed into your water.

Take A Proper Diet

Adequate nutrition is essential before and after the process of egg retrieval.

You should notice that constipation and bloating are the side effects of this procedure and can be painful.

Thus, avoid gas-laden foods to reduce bloating. Foods rich in fat and protein also support ovarian healing.

Steer clear from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages to prevent dehydration. High-protein foods such as the keto diet can help treat mild OHSS.

Green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and high-fiber foods are good for constipation, too.

Go To Doctor

See your doctor when you get abnormal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, excessive prolonged bloating, diarrhea, physical fatigue and weakness, persistent pain, and drinking and eating issues.


How Long Does Your Pain Last After Egg Retrieval?

Your pain can last about 4-10 days during the recovery process of the ovaries to return to their normal size. The agony will relieve gradually after a certain time.

Is It Normal To Be in a Lot Of Pain After Egg Retrieval?

Yes, it is. You can get a lot of pain after egg retrieval weeks. Yet, don’t ignore this symptom to avoid further severe effects.

Visit your doctor if you have difficulty drinking, eating, or other signs such as high fever or constant pain.

Can Eggs Retrieval Perforate Ovaries?

Yes, it can. Egg retrieval can bring risks of ovary peroration, stabbing pains, pelvic infection, and injuries to the bladder, main blood vessels, and uterus.


We’ve covered the causes of the stabbing pain after egg retrieval you can undergo.

When you find the common symptoms of egg retrieval, especially the stabbing pain, follow some useful and simple tips in this article to soothe your discomfort effectively and quickly.

Despite being normal, don’t ignore the pains or other side effects of egg retrieval, such as vomiting and high fever.

It’s best to go to your doctor and take safe medication for a fast recovery and healthy ovaries.

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