We recommend that you refrain from performing a home pregnancy test as they can render false results, either a false negative or false positive. A false positive result may be due to the fact that in many of our treatments, hCG, the same hormone that measures pregnancy, is given to “trigger” ovulation in many of our patients. Traces of the administered hCG can still be in your bloodstream and detectable by a test, even if implantation has not occurred.
A false negative might occur as a low level of hCG may be undetectable in a urine test despite a pregnancy starting, as home pregnancy tests are less sensitive than the blood hormone tests we use.
On average, about 2 weeks following your intrauterine insemination (IUI) or embryo transfer you will come back to our office for your pregnancy test. This test is done by blood draw and measures the hCG levels produced by the developing embryo. The most reliable pregnancy test is the blood test we perform in our offices.
During this time, you may feel as if you are about to start your period. Your body has been through a lot and the medications you’re taking are designed to promote the optimal environment for pregnancy. You may experience some cramping, spotting or light bleeding, abdominal bloating, fatigue, and breast tenderness. While you may be slightly alarmed to experience some of these symptoms, they are normal and do not signify that you are or are not pregnant.
Please note, if after your treatment you feel excessive bloating, shortness of breath, chest pain, or lower abdominal pains, you may have ovarian hyperstimulation and should call your clinical team immediately.
Yes. Most patients need to continue to take progesterone supplements in order to produce the same levels of hormones that would occur in early stages of pregnancy.
While most patients will supplement their progesterone via pill or vaginal insert, patients who are using donor egg or frozen embryos will use the injectable form of progesterone for their cycles.
Additionally, patients who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg, or frozen embryo transfers may also be prescribed estrogen supplements to help thicken and maintain the uterine lining.
Please do not stop taking these medications until you have been advised by your medical team to do so.
We tell all of our patients to be cautious during their first 5 days after their treatment. We recommend that you refrain from strenuous physical activities as well as sexual activities during that time as they may cause uterine contractions that might impair the implantation process. There is also a greater risk during that time of ovarian issues arising since, for many patients, the ovaries are still slightly enlarged at that point.
After those first few days, you can start light aerobic activities such as yoga, swimming, moderate walking, and lightweight training on a stairmaster or elliptical trainer. Activities that can get your heart rate up, but are not demanding, are suggested rather than high-impact activities such as jogging or aerobics.
While your physician will determine the timing of a new cycle, it’s not always necessary to take time off between cycles unless otherwise directed. Many of our patients are able to begin their next treatment cycle immediately. For others, a cycle of rest may be recommended.
We know that these 2 weeks can be a very stressful time. Visit the SGF Facebook page if you’re looking for ways to help pass the time and get support from patients who understand what you are going through. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call your nurse.