When Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
It is highly common for patients to complete the embryo transfer stage of IVF treatment and immediately ask, “When can I take a pregnancy test?” IVF and the prospect of pregnancy is very exciting, so we understand that our patients are anxious to get pregnancy test results. However, when it comes to IVF treatment, a pregnancy test should be handled a little differently than by someone who is trying to conceive naturally.
Throughout IVF treatment, women will be taking fertility medication. Right before egg retrieval, another large boost of hormones will be injected. Combined, these fertility drugs will create the presence of hCG in the body. This is known as the pregnancy hormone because it is produced by women who are pregnant. At-home pregnancy tests look for the presence of hCG in the urine to determine if a woman is pregnant. Because hCG is already in the body of IVF patients, a pregnancy test that is performed too early following IVF treatment may lead to false positive results. Similarly, an early pregnancy test may produce a false negative result if the hCG hormone has not yet increased to levels detectable by a home pregnancy test. Overall, at-home pregnancy tests are simply too unreliable for IVF patients, so we urge our patients to avoid them.
Confirming IVF Pregnancy
The only reliable pregnancy test for patients undergoing IVF is a test by our doctors. Roughly 8-9 days after the date of the embryo transfer, our doctor will schedule a beta pregnancy test. This is a blood test that precisely measures the amount of hCG present in the body. If this number indicates pregnancy, we will schedule a series of blood tests over the next several days. As pregnancy progresses, the level of hCG should increase dramatically. If, after a series of these beta tests, the pregnancy seems to be progressing, an ultrasound will be scheduled in the second or third week after embryo transfer. This ultrasound will confirm pregnancy by identifying the gestational sac and the baby’s heartbeat. As hard as it may be to wait for the two weeks following embryo transfer, this process is the only accurate way to confirm pregnancy after IVF.
Schedule an Appointment
At The Fertility Institute, our physicians understand that infertility is an emotionally trying experience. We are here to guide patients through the journey of fertility treatment, meeting both their physical and emotional needs along the way. If you have questions about fertility treatment or would like to learn more about our treatment methods, contact at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!