For patients who have chosen to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, it is hard not to get excited about the prospect of finally achieving pregnancy. Of course, you’ll be excited! However, this is a multi-step process that does take time and will require a little patience. After the IVF embryo transfer, the nail-biting wait for a hopeful BFP (big fat positive pregnancy test result) begins. If you want to know how long will you have to wait before it’s safe to take the test, we have your answer in this article.
The beta hCG quantitative blood test is ordered 14 days after your egg retrieval. It typically takes 48-72 hours after the embryo transfer for the embryo to implant.
The beta hCG quantitative blood test is ordered 9-13 days after your embryo transfer, depending on the developmental stage of the embryo when it was transferred. For blastocysts (day 5-6 embryos), it’s recommended to take the pregnancy test 9 days after embryo transfer.
After that initial pregnancy, comes a series of if/then procedures:
. If the initial pregnancy test is positive, the test is repeated two days later.
. If the hcG levels have doubled and are rising appropriately, then then the first OB ultrasound will follow about two weeks later. This is when your doctor can confirm an intrauterine pregnancy, check the size, and confirm a fetal heartbeat.
. If your BhCG levels are not adequately rising, your fertility doctor will continue to administer blood tests to determine whether the pregnancy is viable and rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.
. If the pregnancy test is negative, you will be directed to stop all medications, and your doctor can discuss considering a new IVF cycle to try again.
. Home urine test: Depending on when implantation occurs, pregnancy may be able to be detected in certain early home pregnancy tests as soon as five days after a transfer of a 5-day embryo. To detect pregnancy as early as possible, you’ll want to use a high-sensitivity test, which can detect the pregnancy hormone at a threshold of 10 mIU/mL.
However, some women won’t see a positive result on a home-test until seven or more days after transfer. If you want to test for pregnancy at home after an embryo transfer, and have a blood test scheduled for Day 10, it is recommended testing in the morning every day starting six days after the transfer.
. Blood test: One study of 369 patients undergoing IVF showed that an early blood test for pregnancy at five to six days after transfer was very predictive of successful pregnancies for both fresh and frozen embryo transfers. The study looked at 160 positive and 84 negative blood pregnancy tests measured five to six days after transfer. Of the positive tests, 73.9% had a live birth and 16.2% had a biochemical loss (early miscarriage). Of the negative tests, 20% were positive on days nine to 11, but 82.4% of these were biochemical losses and only 3.6% had a live birth.
Some clinics ask that you wait for a pregnancy blood test (β-hCG, or “beta”) to test for pregnancy instead of taking an at-home pregnancy test. I personally have never been able to wait the two weeks and have done home tests sooner, starting five or six days after the transfer.
The pro of taking a test at home is that you can get the answer sooner.
The risks of taking an at-home test are:
. False positives: If your medications contain hCG, the test may just be picking up on the hormones from the fertility treatment. If you don’t know if your medications included hCG, ask your clinic.
. False negatives: If done too early, there may not be enough of the hCG hormone present in the urine to show a positive. As the pregnancy advances and more hCG is present in the body, the chance of a false negative decreases.
. User error: If not taken correctly, a home pregnancy test can produce an invalid result.
. Chemical pregnancy: Because it’s early, the pregnancy could be a biochemical loss (early miscarriage).
Keep in mind if you test at home and get a negative, there’s still a chance you are pregnant so don’t go off your medication regimen! The blood pregnancy test at your clinic will give you the official confirmation.
Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best doctors and fertility specialists in Iran. The price of IVF in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined by an in-person assessment with the doctor.
For more information about the cost of IVF in Iran and to schedule an appointment in advance, you can contact Iranian Surgery consultants via WhatsApp number 0098 901 929 0946. This service is completely free.