What to know about your symptoms after taking hCG injections during IVF
You have been dreaming of this moment since you were a young gal. Meet the perfect guy, enjoy married bliss and eventually it’s time to start a family of your own. You are so excited. You dream about how you will dress your bump, when you will have your shower, and you read every book on the shelf. You eat right, exercise, and perform the horizontal lambada on a rigid schedule. After several months – or even years of trying, Aunt Flo is still on track – arriving on her expected date, and you still haven’t conceived.
After trying for some time, most couples seek out infertility specialists and go through the gamut of options in an attempt to conceive. Fertility drugs, surgery, and artificial insemination are the methods attempted, prior to In Vitro Fertilization.
After trying various infertility methods, about 5% of couples decide to go the IVF route. IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a process wherein the eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory outside of the woman’s body. This process is typically chosen after all other options have been attempted, yet conception has not occurred. IVF is an expensive and complicated procedure, however since 1981 more than 200,000 babies have been born via IVF.
Taking hCG injections During an IVF Course
So you have gone through all the steps and are currently in a course of IVF. You have understandably gone through a range of emotions and it is important to stay positive, take good care of yourself and understand what the different steps in the IVF course consist of.
In Vitro Fertilization, requires that the woman take hCG or Human Gonadotropin injections during the course of her IVF treatment. The symptoms of taking hCG may come as a surprise to some women. However it is important to understand exactly what is occurring in your body, and why – and of course, what to expect for the future.
Suddenly you are retaining water, cramping, irritable and might have headaches. You might even feel a bout of depression come about while taking hCG injections. These symptoms are all normal and 100% expected during the time you take the hCG injections. In fact, these are symptoms which mirror pregnancy – however, please be aware that just because you have these symptoms does not mean that you are pregnant. hCG is considered the “pregnancy hormone” and it is specifically used during an IVF treatment to prevent early egg release and to mature the egg in order to prepare it for fertilization after retrieval. hCG will stay in your system for a total of 7 days according to “Contemporary Perspectives on Assisted Reproductive Technology.” So be aware that you may have these symptoms during this time. And, if you receive more than one injections be aware that you will have symptoms during that time.
How do I know I’m pregant!?
Additionally, hCG is actually the hormone that over the counter pregnancy tests use to determine a positive or negative result. During IVF and receiving hCG injections – a OTC pregnancy test will provide a false positive. A blood test by your physician and/or an ultrasound are the only methods that will indeed tell you that you are pregnant during IVF and hCG injections.
Infertility and the steps involved with conceiving via IVF aren’t the easiest, and it may come unexpectedly to a couple. Yes, it is complicated and requires research and understanding. However the end result is pure and sweet, that is for sure. And – nothing worth having comes easy.
Here is some more information on IVF: