When you have just undergone IVF and are waiting to give birth to a healthy baby, every week counts. Most couples only try IVF when they can’t get pregnant by any other means. This means their expectation level and pressure will be high.
This pressure is especially high when they have undergone the procedure and are waiting to check whether they are pregnant. They may have a lot of questions during this period, like, when is the right time to do a pregnancy test or how to retain pregnancy till the end of term.
This article dives deep into all these factors and helps couples understand what they can and cannot do to maintain their pregnancy.
After how many weeks is an IVF pregnancy safe?
Many people worrying on Is IVF Safe?. If all goes well, IVF pregnancies are generally safe after ten to fifteen weeks (after the first trimester). The first trimester is the most crucial period in IVF pregnancy as the chances of miscarriages in higher during this period.
During Early Weeks after IVF, people starts worrying about the sleeping positions, by getting aware of the safest position you could get out from that dilemma.
Even though it may be hard to stop worrying until the baby is born, most patients feel safe to inform their friends and family about their pregnancy by 12 weeks. At this point, the chance of having a miscarriage decreases a lot, and the baby starts to grow faster.
It’s important to remember that during an IVF pregnancy, women should be extra careful about what they eat and how much stress they’re under. This will reduce any complications the mother of the baby may have.
How Long Does the Average IVF Cycle Take?
An average IVF cycle takes about four to six weeks: from the beginning of ovarian stimulation to embryo transfer. It might take longer (up to eight weeks) if there are any additional treatments or procedures, such as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Test), or PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis).
Below is the general time taken for each IVF procedure.
1. Ovarian Stimulation: The female partner is administered hormonal injections to stimulate her ovaries and make them produce more mature eggs. This procedure takes around 8-14 days.
2. Egg retrieval: Once the female partner’s eggs are matured, they are collected by inserting a thin needle in the ovaries through the vagina. This process will take around 30-45 minutes. The semen sample from the male partner is collected on the same day.
3. Fertilization: The time taken for this procedure differs based on the mode of fertilization.
There are two ways IVF fertilization can be done. One is the traditional IVF method, where the sperm and egg are placed in a lab dish for fertilization.
The other method is ICSI, where the best sperm is selected, washed, and injected into the egg’s cytoplasm for fertilization.
4. Embryo culture: After fertilization, the eggs are monitored for 3-5 days until they reach the blastocyst stage.
5. Embryo transfer: The best embryo with the highest chances of pregnancy is selected to be transferred back into the uterus. This process takes about 15-30 minutes.
Around 2 weeks after embryo transfer, the female partner may buy a pregnancy kit and check if the results are positive. These 2 weeks can be emotionally challenging for many couples since it determines if the treatment was successful or not.
How likely is it to conceive using IVF?
The chances of a successful IVF pregnancy depend on several factors, such as
- the age of the female partner,
- the couple’s health condition,
- the cause of infertility, and
- the number of IVF cycles they have undergone.
IVF is a relatively effective fertility treatment and is considered the last resort after all other fertility treatments did not aid the couples in achieving pregnancy. Its success rate is higher and is also safer, with very low complications for the mother and baby.
During the first 12 weeks (First Trimester) of your pregnancy, women must take medication to ensure their hormone levels are at their best to keep their pregnancy safe. Their IVF doctor may also give them supplements like Folic acid, Iron, and Calcium in addition to medicines.
Their doctor will tell them how often they need to visit for prenatal checkups. These checkups may be needed more often for older women whose pregnancy needs to be closely watched.
Week by week, the baby’s organ systems become more complex and advanced. The mother has to eat meals full of nutrients, stay active, and do things to relax, like deep breathing exercises and prenatal yoga.
Note: Before starting a new diet or workout plan, women should always consult their doctor first. They should never take medicine on their own because drugs can affect both the mother and the baby.
Precautions after IVF Pregnancy
A couple who got pregnant through IVF had to go through a lot of struggles to take the pregnancy to term. This is why many couples are very careful about their pregnancy and sometimes spend hours studying what to do and what not to do during an IVF pregnancy.
Here are some precautions couples can follow to ensure a safe and healthy IVF journey.
Medication: Women should take medicines prescribed by the doctor without fail. They also should not take a new medicine without the doctor’s consent.
Stay active: While women should avoid strenuous activities, they should not be idle either. Women can consult their doctor and do some mild physical activities like prenatal yoga, walking, and other activities. This can help keep them relaxed and improve their physical and mental health.
Maintain a healthy diet: Women should avoid processed or junk food and consume nutrient-rich foods to improve their health and speed up their baby’s growth.
Lifestyle changes: Women should stop some unhealthy practices they may have had before pregnancy (like smoking and alcohol) and start following a healthy lifestyle.
Consult the IVF doctor in case of discomfort: IVF pregnancy is a crucial period. It is best to be safe and consult a doctor in case of discomfort or pain.
Regular checkups: Women should have regular ultrasounds and blood tests to ensure the baby grows healthily and no complications arise during pregnancy.
IVF is a safe and effective way to help people get pregnant. The success rates of IVF goes up as the number of cycle increase. After the first cycle, the success rate is about 40%. After two cycles, this goes up to 60%, and after three cycles, it goes up to 70–80%.
IVF is generally considered safe after 12 weeks of pregnancy. If the first 12 weeks go well, the chances of a successful delivery go up to 70–80%. Following some safety measures and listening to doctors’ suggestions can also help women take their pregnancy to term.
Frequently asked questions
After one round of IVF, there is a 40% chance of having a child. After two cycles, this goes up to 60%, and after three cycles, it goes up to 70–80%. IVF is a very successful way to treat infertility.
IVF is thought to be just as safe as having a baby naturally. Both the mother and the baby have a very low chance of getting any complications. Talk to your doctor about IVF before deciding to undergo the procedure.
After IVF, you should be able to see the gestational sac on an ultrasound at 5 weeks. Usually, this is the first big step in the early stages of pregnancy after IVF. The gestational sac is a fluid-filled structure surrounding the embryo during its early development stages, and its appearance is a good sign that the pregnancy is going well.