How Soon After IVF can a Pregnancy Test be Performed?
In vitro fertilisation or IVF is an assisted fertility treatment that has helped millions of couples worldwide who face difficulties when trying to conceive. Almost one in six couples will seek help and a third will need some form of fertility treatment to help them in getting pregnant.
Couples may face difficulties with conceiving for a variety of reasons. A third of these are related to female causes of infertility. Another third are related to male causes of infertility and the remaining third are unexplained. The various female causes of infertility can be irregular ovulation or ovulatory dysfunction. This is commonly seen in women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. Besides PCOS, irregular ovulation may occur due to other causes such as hypothalamic hypogonadotropism, obesity, etc. Those women who have fail to conceive with clomiphene or gonadotrophin ovulation induction may have to undergo IVF. Tubal disease or blockage of fallopian tubes can be successfully treated with IVF. Low sperm count or abnormal semen analysis can be treated with IVF / ICSI. In Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insemination or ICSI, one sperm is injected into each collected egg.
IVF or IVF/ICSI treatment involves taking fertility medications to stimulate follicles. Once these follicles are considered to have reached the right stage of development then you will go through minor procedures of egg collection and embryo transfer. Most patients will be asked to take a pregnancy test fourteen to eighteen days after egg collection. This depends on whether you are taking a urine pregnancy test or a blood pregnancy test. The urine pregnancy tests are very sensitive in detecting early pregnancy. There are many brands available over the counter. These may be digital ones that show the result as number of weeks of pregnancy. Others simply show the result as whether you are pregnant or not. Both of these tests are just as sensitive. It is usually suggested that you take these tests early in the morning with the first urine sample. If you are taking a blood test, you can do so without having to fast. The results of the blood test are usually available the same or next day. Sometimes you may have to repeat the test depending on the level of pregnancy hormone, beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta hCG). If your pregnancy test comes back positive, then inform your fertility specialist or fertility clinic and continue with the prescribed medications. You will also be booked in for a pregnancy scan in a few weeks time. Most early pregnancy scans are transvaginal or vaginal ultrasound scans.
IVF success rates have been improving and at least a third of patients should be able to achieve a successful outcome. The success rate depends on a variety of factors. At London IVF and Genetics Centre, our pregnancy rates are amongst the best IVF clinics.
During the first twelve weeks, there is a risk of early pregnancy problems such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Hence, if you experience pain or bleeding then you should inform your gynaecologist or fertility specialist. Those patients who have experienced repeated complications may want to have a reassurance scan. You can contact London IVF and Genetics Centre for more advice on IVF or early pregnancy or miscarriage support.