Step six: Pregnancy Test
The pregnancy test occurs around 18 days after the egg retrieval. All pregnancy tests are assessing whether human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present. However, unlike a home pregnancy test, Shady Grove Fertility will perform a blood test to determine the exact level of hCG present.
When a positive pregnancy is determined, you'll be asked to repeat the test in 2 or 3 days. If there is a viable pregnancy, the level of hCG will roughly double every 2 days. If at the second pregnancy test the hCG level doubles, another beta may be ordered. If all three pregnancy tests indicate a pregnancy, then a vaginal ultrasound will be scheduled between the 6th and 8th week of the gestation. At that time, your doctor will be looking for a gestational sac and heartbeat to confirm the pregnancy. Around the 8th week of gestation patients ”graduate” from Shady Grove Fertility and are referred back to their OB/GYN for continuing obstetric care.
If the cycle results in a negative pregnancy test, it's very disappointing. It's important to remember, you have a treatment plan with options for trying again. Your medical team will instruct you to stop your medications and offer to schedule a consultation with your doctor. During this meeting with your physician, you'll discuss the cycle, any changes that can or should be made to your protocol, and ultimately determine how you want proceed.
While there are several parts to an IVF cycle with many details to consider, it's an exciting time filled with hope and possibility. Whether you are about to start an IVF cycle or you're just exploring fertility treatment in general, don't hesitate to ask all your questions and express your concerns.