Signs of Pregnancy During the 2-Week Waiting Period after IVF

It goes without saying that women who have just undergone in-vitro fertilization have been through far more than most. After having experienced several disappointments from failed attempts at pregnancy, spending money on diagnostic examinations, they receive confirmation of a fertility problem from their Ob-Gyn.

Then, after they are put on a treatment regimen that usually involves hormone therapy, harvesting and union of viable oocytes and sperm in-vitro, they wait again and undergo the process of embryo or blastocyst transfer.

After all these steps, they still have to wait quite a while to confirm a positive pregnancy. During this two-week period, some women experience pregnancy symptoms while others do not, despite having successfully finished an IVF treatment cycle.

Women who conceive normally without in-vitro fertilization usually do not experience symptoms of pregnancy until they have missed a period, usually anywhere from four to six weeks from the date of conception. By the time the embryo has been transferred, it may already be anywhere from three to five days old. Moreover, under normal circumstances, conception occurs a few days after insemination has occurred. This explains why the waiting period after IVF is two weeks long.

Some women who have had a successful IVF cycle in the Philippines, or anywhere IVF is available, experience nonspecific symptoms such as cramping or tightening in the abdominal area or headache. Other symptoms such as breast tenderness or morning sickness may also occur. These are subjective findings, and can vary among women.

Changes in basal body temperature may indicate a successful pregnancy. Usually, this is a decrease in temperature, whereas other women note feeling an increase. It is important to measure and track basal body temperature before undergoing IVF and throughout the days following a successful cycle to document this change.

Signs that would also be associated with positive pregnancy include mild spotting and clear or white minimal vaginal discharge. If the discharge appears yellow, green, has a foul odor, or is associated with genital irritation, fever or pain, it may signal an infection, and consulting a physician is in order.

During the two-week waiting period, it is important to remain calm, and relaxed. Focusing too much on the symptoms of a positive pregnancy after an IVF cycle can lead to anxiety, doubt, paranoia, as well as a whole spectrum of emotions that may undermine your goals to become pregnant. In some women, false pregnancy or pseudocyesis may occur. This is the phenomena of signs and symptoms of pregnancy happening in a woman who is not pregnant at all. These signs and symptoms happen because the hormones that normally interact during pregnancy are activated purely because the patient is convinced that she is pregnant. Again, it cannot be overstated that some women experience no symptoms at all, and yet are pregnant during the two-week waiting period. Thus, it is important to stay calm, and manage expectations.