If you have turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a way to get pregnant, your mommy-to-be senses are probably on high alert. Waiting to find out whether the embryo has implanted takes every bit of the patience you will need as a new parent, but knowing IVF pregnancy symptoms can sometimes help make your wait easier. The symptoms vary from woman to woman and may not always occur because of IVF success.
With IVF success, you begin a normal pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean your stomach will be upset or your breasts will get tender. The American Pregnancy Association reports some women may not experience any pregnancy signs or symptoms in the early stages. This doesn’t mean the IVF failed.
According to Cedars-Sinai, the first symptom of pregnancy occurs when you miss your period. If you have irregular periods or skipped periods, this may not be a sign of pregnancy, but if you have a regular 28-day cycle, you can expect this sign. The medical facility also lists nausea and vomiting as potential symptoms. Hormonal changes can trigger these signs, which can begin occurring within 10 days after insertion. Other early symptoms can include swollen breasts, a bloated abdomen and feeling tired.
You can have false symptoms with IVF. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports the side effects of IVF can include abdominal pain, bloating, headaches and mood swings. With the similarities between pregnancy symptoms and IVF side effects, it can be difficult to tell whether you are pregnant or not just from the way you feel.
Daily shots or pills with the hormone progesterone can help increase the odds of IVF success, but they can cause symptoms that mimic pregnancy signs. In addition, the rare medical condition ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can result from the IVF process. The dangerous condition can cause a rapid weight gain of up to 10 lbs. within a matter of days.
To get a correct diagnosis of whether the IVF was successful, your doctor will perform a human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) test within 10 to 14 days after implantation, according to the UMMC. The test will measure the amount of HCG, the hormone produced during pregnancy. If the levels of HCG have increased, it improves the chance the symptoms you have experienced are a result of IVF success.
While a home pregnancy test also measures HCG, IVF can increase the chance of an inaccurate reading, according to the IVF Connections website. HCG injected as part of the IVF treatment may create a false positive. In some cases, the body has eliminated the excess HCG, but the pregnancy hasn’t built up enough of the hormone to register. When this happens, you can get a negative result when you are pregnant.
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