IVF is a guided reproductive treatment that assists you through multiple stages of conception. Once you get pregnant through IVF, here is what you should expect during the early phases of the pregnancy:
● Testing for Pregnancy
After the embryo transfer stage completes, the first question that creeps in the mind is “Can I take the pregnancy test?” And the answer to this is usually seven days after embryo retrieval. The pregnancy test for an IVF pregnancy is different from the at-home pregnancy test. The doctor will schedule a blood test within two weeks after egg retrieval. This test is done to detect and measure the level of pregnancy hormone i.e. hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). In case, you want to do a pregnancy test at home, you should do it after two weeks of egg retrieval.
● Progesterone Hormone Support
Your doctor may keep you on progesterone treatment even if you’ve had a positive pregnancy test. Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone necessary in preparation for fertilized egg implantation. During IVF, normal progesterone production by ovaries may be lowered due to medication used to slow down premature ovulation. Besides, at the time of follicle aspiration that obtains mature eggs, progesterone generating cells may be removed. To balance the progesterone levels, the hormone is supplied in the body orally, through injections or vaginally.
● Multiple Blood Tests
A blood test of the patient is done frequently to monitor the hormone levels in the body until a few weeks post pregnancy test. Through a blood test, the fertility specialist checks rising hCG hormone levels in the body. If the levels are normal, it indicates a healthy pregnancy. However, if the hormone level is high, there may be a chance of multiple pregnancies. The blood test also helps to monitor progesterone levels in the body. Also, keeping track of estrogen levels is important mainly if symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) are present.
● Ultrasound Follow-up
A few weeks after the blood tests, your doctor may recommend you to a regular obstetrician. However, before that your fertility specialist will advise you to have one or two ultrasounds. Ultrasounds are performed to check if there is a chance of multiple pregnancies or not. Twin pregnancy is usually detected in the second or third ultrasound scan.
● OHSS Syndrome
Unfortunately, if there is a case of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the symptoms may last for several weeks and in the worst case, increase too. OHSS can be life-threatening and dangerous. However, proper treatment can cure it too.
● Transfer to a Regular Obstetrician
The fertility specialist may release you to a regular obstetrician in about eight weeks after the IVF treatment. Initially, you may feel awkward to visit a regular doctor (OB/GYN) as IVF you have experienced IVF treatment with intense monitoring all the time. Also, you would now need to visit the doctor once in a month as compared to those frequent visits in the IVF procedure.
● Risks related to pregnancy after IVF After conception through IVF, there may be some risks and complications associated with pregnancy. The risks are usually normal ones and have no link to fertility treatment. Some of the pregnancy risks and complications include:
o Gestational Diabetes: This may occur due to high blood sugar or glucose levels during pregnancy. According to doctors, the possible cause of gestational diabetes is hormone involvement. Hormones can create a problem for a woman to block insulin thereby, increasing the body's insulin requirement to three times.
o Abnormal Bleeding: Females undergoing fertility treatments are more likely to face vaginal bleeding or spotting. In general, women who take a particular form of progesterone experience signs of spotting.
o Preeclampsia: It is a pregnancy disorder that occurs due to high blood pressure and high content of protein in the urine. This pregnancy-induced hypertension can be dangerous for both, the mother and the baby.
o Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR): This is a size deficiency in baby detected based on the average size of the fetus at multiple stages of pregnancy. IUGR is mostly observed in the last trimester of pregnancy.
o Premature Labor: Preterm labor does not always result in delivery. Around 12% of all births occur before the due date. Premature labor can be distressing at times. However, there are few ways to slow down the contractions and let the mother carry the pregnancy till the due date.
o Congenital defects: Congenital birth defects observed in IVF babies include heart problems, malformation of the urogenital tract. Birth defects mostly seen in girl child is angiomas or benign tumor of blood vessels causing redness on the skin.
To know everything about the IVF Treatment and stages of IVF, Visit Neelkanth Hospital for IVF infertility treatment in Gurgaon.
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