Should you take a pregnancy test at home during IVF?
Have you been thinking about taking a home pregnancy test before your scheduled hCG tests? Here’s how I feel about my patients going through IVF who consider home testing…
I hear this from my patients over and over and over again.
“I really want to take a pregnancy test!”
It’s such a tempting thing to purchase a home pregnancy test ahead of your scheduled hCG tests at your IVF clinic…
If you’re sitting here reading this, you’re probably considering doing one right now! You even have already bought a test.
Here’s my advice to you: don’t do it.
The answer is simple. No. You shouldn’t take a pregnancy test at home during IVF.
Here are the reasons why…
Home pregnancy tests are not accurate enough
Home pregnancy test kits are not predictable enough.
Their quality cannot be relied on for testing you properly in the way that your doctor can.
You could have one that’s expired, one that’s faulty – and you have no way of knowing if the one that you’ve bought is one that works or one that doesn’t work.
It’s just not reliable.
And if it does come back negative… then what will you do? It might cause you to lose hope, stop medication and even skip your appointment at the doctor’s office. I use those last 2 examples specifically because that’s exactly what I’ve seen happen all too often.
The reality of using a home pregnancy test for your results…
I’m going to share with you the story of one of my patients who took a home pregnancy test. This is just one patient’s story, but I’ve seen it happen so many times.
She took a home pregnancy test and it showed up negative.
Of course she was distraught. She believed it to be 100% accurate and true.
So she stopped her medication, didn’t show up to her appointment and didn’t even call up the office!
Her doctor tries to call her. No answer. The next day. No answer.
When they finally connect with each other he tells her: “you have to come in and take a pregnancy test.”
Doctors want you to A: have a clear answer and B: do their job and properly document the results for the clinic.
She went in for the pregnancy test. And guess what… she was PREGNANT!
However, she’d stopped all of her medication 3 days ago! Luckily for her, they got her back on her medication and everything turned out fine and she had a healthy baby. But that is dangerous and it doesn’t always work out that way.
Don’t read too much into your symptoms after an IVF cycle
As much as you want to take a home pregnancy test before your scheduled hCG test, don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Just wait until you go in.
The symptoms that you’re experiencing after an IVF cycle don’t mean anything. You’re taking so much medication; this can feel you’re experiencing symptoms that mean you’re pregnant or a lack of symptoms could make you feel like you’re not pregnant (when in fact you are).
I know it’s hard to wait. The wait is one of the most difficult parts for women going through IVF. But it’s very important that you do wait.
Here’s what you should do at the end of an IVF cycle:
- Stay on your medication
- Avoid home pregnancy tests
- Attend your appointment at the clinic
- Focus on mindfulness and recovery
- Do a home detox to prepare for the next cycle or your developing pregnancy
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