If you are undergoing an IVF treatment, it’s only obvious that you would want to take a home pregnancy test after IVF. But, home pregnancy tests are not recommended after IVF. Want to know why?
So before you take that pregnancy test strip and start testing, read this article.
Surrogacy and IVF treatments have become commonplace. Earlier only celebrities did it for the sake of protecting themselves from undergoing the pangs of childbirth.
Now there is a revolution in infertility treatments, and IVF has become very popular. It only highlights that the fertility rates have gone down. Many women reach menopause even at the age of 30.
In Vitro Fertilization involves the use of artificial methods to help a couple bear a child. Babies born from this method are popularly called test-tube babies.
Table of Contents
What is IVF?
IVF is the abbreviation for In vitro fertilization. In this therapy:
- The doctor gives a series of hormonal shots for superovulation in the woman. They are for increasing the production of eggs and other female hormones necessary for sustaining the pregnancy. It is a long-term treatment and is expensive.
- After a few months eventually her egg production increases. Menstrual cycles tune to the right pace.
- Later the doctor harvests these eggs. The doctor may recommend a surrogate mother in case the patient woman is not able to carry a child.
- Doctors collect sperms from the father or a donor. They store the collected semen in liquid nitrogen. It is necessary as IVF treatments may or may not be successful at the first go.
- The eggs and sperms are artificially fertilized. That’s why the name test-tube baby. Not one but a mixture of eggs and sperm reacts in the incubator during IVF.
- They are either grown up to the stage of an embryo or implanted as a zygote in the uterus.
- Later using ultrasounds and pregnancy blood test doctors confirm whether the female is pregnant or not.
We must warn you about quacks. Some doctors steal your eggs and sell them for making money. Not to forget that eggs can divide and make many more. You will be a guinea pig for the doctor. Also, some of them might intentionally not allow you to get pregnant to make more money from more visits. Make sure you research well before going to a fertility clinic.
Why is hCG given in IVF treatments?
hCG shots given in the final phase of infertility treatment are for maturing of eggs. Ovulation is the rupture of the Graffian follicle to release the egg. After taking the hCG shot, it takes another 36–40 hours for ovulation to occur. It takes about 10 days for this huge amount of hCG to decline in blood.
According to a study when a moderate amount of hCG injected into a patient, it took more than 12 days to return to 5 mIU/mL. A woman with hCG less than 5 mIU/mL falls into the category of ‘not pregnant.’
Home pregnancy test after IVF
There is a problem involved with the home pregnancy test after IVF. It is due to the kind of fertility drugs used.
Fertility-boosting drugs have hCG hormone elevating chemicals. hCG hormone is also known as the pregnancy hormone. This hormone is the one used by pregnancy tests to find out if you are pregnant.
The fertility drugs used during infertility therapies elevate the hCG levels even when you are not pregnant. A home pregnancy test cannot detect the source and cause of hCG production. It will give a positive pregnancy test.
In this case, it will be a false positive pregnancy test.
Doctors discourage their patients to take the home pregnancy test after IVF. They don’t do it for giving you trouble. There is a reason behind it!
When to take home pregnancy test after IVF?
Pregnancy symptoms start soon after embryo transfer. But pregnancy test can still give negative results.
- Taking a home pregnancy test within a week or 7 days after egg collection can give a false positive test. This is because of the fertility ovulation boosting drugs.
- Similarly, taking a pregnancy test within 14 days after embryo transfer can give a false negative pregnancy test.
Laboratory pregnancy tests after IVF performed by medical experts are reliable and accurate.
Determining hCG in urine or blood after IVF is done in laboratories is 100% accurate. Doctors wait for 12–14 days after IVF embryo transfer to do a blood pregnancy test.
How to perform a home pregnancy test after IVF?
If you are not convinced to get a blood pregnancy test and avoid a home pregnancy test after then do this.
- Buy a cheap pregnancy test. You can get a Dollar Pregnancy test or any other hCG strip packet.
- Take a pregnancy test daily after embryo transfer after IVF.
- Wait for the day you get a negative pregnancy test. This shows that the hCG from fertility shots has fallen and soon will wipe off from your body entirely.
- Now continue taking a pregnancy test using the hCG strip daily until you get a positive result.
We advise you to avoid this pitfall while taking a home pregnancy test after IVF for saving you from anxiety and depression.
How accurate is a home pregnancy test with IVF?
Urine has a higher amount of hCG compared to blood during pregnancy. The amount of hCG present in urine during pregnancy is almost double to that in blood.
Home pregnancy tests detect only qualitatively. They only inform you whether hCG is present in your urine.
Doctors perform a quantitative pregnancy test. The blood pregnancy test determines the level of hCG in the blood. This is why blood pregnancy tests are better after IVF. Home pregnancy tests have an accuracy rate of 75% on average.
False-positive pregnancy test after IVF is a common occurrence. It takes a long time for the hCG levels to fall.
Negative pregnancy test after IVF
Negative pregnancy test after IVF may be possible in many cases. Not all IVF treatments are successful. It might take some time to make sufficient hCG and only then will the pregnancy test be able to test pregnancy.
A negative pregnancy test after IVF is nothing to worry about. It may be that you need second implantation because the first zygote was not viable.
Positive pregnancy test after IVF
A positive pregnancy test after IVF is not a final result. It is because IVF pregnancies can terminate spontaneously more easily.
Also, one must not neglect the possibility of elevated hCG levels due to fertility drugs. For this reason, home pregnancy test after IVF is not recommended. One needs to be very sure of the symptoms of pregnancy and only then can she assert her certainty of being pregnant.
A blood positive pregnancy test after IVF confirms pregnancy. Doctors perform blood pregnancy tests along with ultrasound after IVF.