IVF and Weight Gain

Women generally go for fertility treatments like IVF, Intrauterine insemination, etc., when they cannot conceive naturally.

With treatments like IVF significantly impacts patients, with weight gain a common side effect seen in women. During IVF, if there is a slight increase in weight gain, it is not a problem, as minor weight gain is encouraged after the embryo transfer and is considered a positive sign of implantation and pregnancy.

So, Whether IVF and Weight Gain are related to each other Or something else? Keep reading to understand how the IVF Process is linked to weight gain.

Weight Gain During Fertility Treatment

Some women, during their fertility treatment like In Virto Fertilisation (IVF), put on weight because of fluid retention. During the superovulation phase ,which is the first phase in IVF cycle, the estrogen level is high, which causes fluid retention. This bloating is only for a short period and goes off as the first phase gets over. And thus, women get back to their original weight.

Causes of IVF and Weight Gain

There are two ways in which women tend to experience IVF and weight gain.

  • The first way is bloating, which goes away after some time. It occurs after egg retrieval and implantation.
  • And the other one is the actual weight gain.

IVF Procedure is not the cause of this actual weight gain. It is caused by the extra hormones injected to ensure a successful IVF cycle. Some women take it orally, and some through injections. These hormone treatments can cause weight gain in some women:-


Some women may experience weight gain due to the progesterone shots. It does have side effects and it vary from woman to woman. However, some women may experience cramping, facial hair, weight gain, hunger, etc., due to the side effects of the progesterone shots. Some women may lose weight despite the weight gain, as it impacts everyone differently.

Fertility Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

FSA may cause weight gain and bloat in some women. It boosts estrogen levels, resulting in physical changes and mood swings, making your abdominal area heavier and bulky, etc. It’s not the medications that cause weight gain, but they result from their side effects.

estrogen levels
Source: georgiahormones.com

Other causes of Weight Gain during IVF

Changes in lifestyle during IVF are another major cause of weight gain. Some women take extra precautions or, out of convenience, bring changes in their lifestyle. They do less exercise than before, rest more, focus on staying healthy and stress-free, etc.

All these changes lead to IVF and weight gain. In addition, some women change their eating habits and eat more may be because of hormone changes, which also leads to additional weight gain.

Whether Fertility Medications Cause Weight Gain?

Fertility medications during the IVF process trigger different hormones, which help make females more fertile. But they do come with serious side effects.

Most women may have bloated stomach or heavy feelings because of these medications. These medicines are taken together with injections. Different medications are prescribed to different patients, and the doses are also different. So, it’s very hard to predict how much weight one will gain. It can range from three poundsto more than 15 pound.

Medications that Cause Weight Gain During IVF

Some common oral medicines that are taken with injections are as follows: –


Weight gain is the common side effect of clomid or any Clomiphene Citrate. This is because, to trick your body, it blocks the estrogen receptors, leading to a rise in estrogen levels. This results in bloating that links to weight gain because of the significant water retention.


Femara is another oral tablet that causes temporary weight gain. Its main function is to stimulate FSH and LH to produce more fertile eggs. Women having this medicine may feel swelling in their body and thus, leading to weight gain because of possible hunger cravings.


Progesterone is taken to prepare the uterus lining for implantation. In other words, it makes the fertile egg stick so that women become pregnant.

Weight Gain after the Egg Retrieval

It is common to gain weight after the egg retrieval procedure. Women can gain weight at any stage of the IVF process. IVF is a handful of processes and can impact different bodies differently. There are mainly the four stages of the IVF process where women can gain weight depending on the medications they may be taking:-

  • Stage 1:  GnRH is given to stimulate the ovaries with gonadotropins. At this stage, the chances of weight gain are very minimal.
  • Stage 2: Women are given more medications to help their follicles grow and mature in more than one egg. Clomid or Letrozole is often given. These lead to water retention and weight gain as the week progresses.
  • Stage 3:  The next stage of the IVF process includes medications that stimulate the release of luteinizing hormones and encourage ovulation. Women may feel bloated during this stage.
  •  Stage 4:  It is time for egg retrieval. Women will be given progesterone to make their uterus lining ready for implantation. This also causes weight gain, bloating, etc.

Emotional Weight Gain During IVF

IVF does not only affect your body but also impacts your emotions. The IVF process, in two ways, can contribute to weight gain:-


The IVF process can be stressful and draining. So, if you are a stress eater, then you will gain weight. During stress, we generally crave sugar, salt, and other things that are not so good for our health and thus lead to weight gain.

So, women should stock their kitchens with healthy snacks during this time and focus on balanced meals.

Mood Swings

During pregnancy, the increase and decrease in the hormones like estrogen and progesterone cause mood swings.

It happens in pregnancy naturally, but women who consume more medications to encourage higher levels may feel heavier side effects. This results in emotional drainage and a change in appetite. Some women may not be interested in eating, and some may feel hungry because of tiredness and seeking energy.


This is not right to embark on intensive weight loss to drop a few kilograms if you experienced weight gain from the IVF treatment. You should eat well during this time because of your good health and nutritional requirements.

You need to follow a steady weight loss and if you are less active, then increase your physical activity. And if stress is causing you to overeat, then control this with things other than food, such as yoga and exercise. Make healthy food selections like fruits, vegetables, etc. And in case hormone treatment are the cause of your weight gain, you can expect to lose it once the treatment stops.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Once you are confirmed that you are pregnant, you should not try to lose weight.

You should try to maintain a healthy weight. It would help if you discussed good weight gain with your doctor, which depends on your weight before conceiving. Thus, it varies from person to person.

Follow a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, proteins, etc. Avoid processed and packaged food as it contains high amounts of sugar and salt. Following this will help you maintain your weight without doing anything else.

Every individual is different, so every woman experiences different weight gain with IVF. Some gain and lose weight quickly, while some lose weight slowly.

Women generally report three pounds to 15 pounds gain before embryo transfer. Don’t be confused with bloating and weight gain. They are two different things. One is temporary, and the other can be permanent or stay longer.

No, not every woman needs to experience weight gain with IVF. Some may experience bloating or some weight gain. It’s not possible to tell whether women will gain weight or not. It all depends on the women medical history, lifestyle, and general health. It’s normal to gain some weight and not at all.

It would help if you also kept in mind that IVF is stressful. Some people are natural overeaters when stressed, and others eat less. Thus, this can lead to weight gain.

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