In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an effective treatment for male and female infertility, allowing people to have a child after struggles with conceiving. Dr. Michael Vermesh and Dr. Tannaz Toloubeydokhti have helped countless patients in the greater Los Angeles, CA thanks to IVF and other fertility treatments.
Many patients who undergo IVF want to know if they’re pregnant or not as soon as possible. We understand the mix of excitement and anxiety that patients feel, but they have to wait. Sometimes patients get an over-the-counter pregnancy test because they cannot stand the wait. This is a bad idea. The team at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology would like to explain why.
When Is an In-Office Pregnancy Test Performed?
Typically a blood test is taken to determine if the IVF procedure was successful. This blood pregnancy test is taken about 12 to 14 days after the embryo has been implanted.
This blood test will measure the patient’s human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels. hCG is known as the “pregnancy hormone.”
Why Does It Take That Much Time?
After an embryo has been transferred, it must attach itself to the tissue lining of the uterus. From there, the embryo either remains and develops or is shed and the pregnancy is not viable. This takes time, and it’s important to allow this natural process to run its course.
This is why we advise all IVF patients at our Los Angeles practice to remain patient and have realistic expectations after embryo transfer and the process of pregnancy.
What Happens If I Use an At-Home Pregnancy Test?
If you use an at-home pregnancy test too soon after IVF, you may wind up with a false positive or a false negative. The in-office blood test will be much more accurate than the consumer home pregnancy tests available at the drugstore.
But Aren’t Over-the-Counter Pregnancy Tests Accurate?
They are somewhat accurate overall, but these tests analyze the urine rather than a woman’s blood.
In some cases, the residual hCG from a fertility drug injection can throw off home pregnancy tests that are performed soon after embryo transfer. False negatives are possible if a home pregnancy test is performed closer to the 14-day mark simply because the chemical composition and information gleaned from blood tests and urine tests differ.
Avoid False Results By Waiting on Official Tests
In order to avoid false positives and false negatives, patients should just wait until we can perform an official pregnancy test here at our practice. Avoid the disappointment of false results and leave the testing to our team.
What You Should Do While Waiting for Official Results
Waiting is the hardest part about so much in life. Our Los Angeles fertility specialists advise IVF patients to take it easy for the first first days after embryo transfer. Keep physical activity light but healthy for the next 14 days, and continue to eat a well-balanced diet.
As anxious as you may be, focus on ways to de-stress and keep your mind calm.
Learn More About Pregnancy and IVF
For more information about IVF and how we can help you, contact our skilled fertility specialists. The Center for Fertility and Gynecology can be reached by phone at (818) 881-9800.