Progesterone Support and Waiting for the Positive Pregnancy Test
After your retrieval, you will begin daily progesterone support, either by vaginal application or injections. The addition of progesterone following the egg collection increases the likelihood of a successful embryo implantation and maintains a pregnancy after transfer. Progesterone helps support the lining of the uterus and encourages implantation of the embryo. Although your body will produce progesterone on its own, IVF patients need supplementation.
In a normal cycle, the cells lining the follicle produce progesterone. During the IVF retrieval process, the progesterone-producing cells that line the inside of the follicle will come out with the egg, this is why supplementation is needed. Adding back progesterone with vaginal or injectable supplementation provides a critical component in maintaining an IVF pregnancy.
We usually recommend progesterone supplementation starting two days after egg retrieval until the pregnancy test, which is 2 weeks from the egg collection. If a pregnancy occurs, then patients will continue progesterone supplementation until the placenta and ovary are making enough so that supplementation is no longer needed.
Pregnancy Tests and OB Ultrasounds
Exactly two weeks after the oocyte retrieval, Dr. Douglas will schedule a serum pregnancy test to determine the success of the IVF procedure. We discourage patients from using home urine kits to test for pregnancy before the scheduled appointment. These tests can be inaccurate because of the HCG present in the blood stream from the “trigger shot.” Home pregnancy tests look for HCG in the urine as an indicator of pregnancy.
At seven weeks you will have an OB sonogram. If the sonogram is normal you will be released to your Ob-Gyn for continuing obstetrical care.