9dp5dt – Often the big pregnancy test day.
What is 9dp5dt
If you haven’t been around IVF and fertility communities then you’ll likely be wondering what is 9dp5dt! Well it means 9 days past a 5-day transfer. In the UK it is very common for IVF clinics to ask you to do a home pregnancy test or come in for a blood test to measure the levels of hCG. It is equivilent to 14dpo (14 days post ovulation in natural conception). For those of you who prefer video check out our guide.
Why do UK clinics usually use do pregnancy tests 9dp5dt?
To answer this we need to understand a little about IVF cycles, which you can get a full understand in our what does IVF involve article. But just before you go in for egg retrieval you take an hCG injection which encourages your ovaries to mature your eggs ready for ovulation.
hCG also happens to be one of the key hormones which is released once the embryo implants into the endometrium and hatches. This is what is measured in pregnancy tests. Therefore, if you take a pregnancy test too early then this can result in a false positive which can be heart-breaking.
Secondly the levels of hCG in the body can rise very quickly in pregnancy, however there is a massive range of normal levels of hCG in positive pregnancies. At the time of the pregnancy test which is 14 days after egg retrieval or 9dp5dt you would be approximately 4 weeks pregnant, as you can see in the graph opposite normal hCG ranges for this point are from 5 – 426 mlU/ml. At the 5mlU/ml this would be barely perceptible by a home pregnancy test.
So, these are the key reasons why you are likely to be called in this day or around this day for your beta pregnancy test. For those more visual people out there check out Rachel discussing 9dp5dt below.
How does the beta test work?
You will go into the clinic on or around 9dp5dt. You will be taken into a room with the nurse where they will draw 1 vile of blood. This will be sent off to the lab for analysis then you will be sent home. You will then receive the most nerve wracking and exciting call you will have ever had. Are you pregnant? Yes, no or even maybe!
What result should I look for in my beta test?
When we had our beta test, we were told the following:
Less than 5 = Negative
Between 5 – 50 = inconclusive this means you may have a chemical pregnancy, or your pregnancy is slow growing. You will likely be asked to go in again a couple of days later to repeat the test and to see if your hCG levels are rising (they are hoping to see a 50-100% rise per 48 hours in pregnancy).
Over 50 = Positive
Very high can be a result of an ectopic or multiple pregnancy.
Which as I’m sure you’ll agree seems to fit in nicely with graph showed.
What if I’m asked to do a home pregnancy test?
Some clinics in the UK ask you to do a home pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. If this is the case many ask you to wait as late as 12dp5dt, but some still ask you to do the 9th day. As such you will be supplied with a highly accurate pregnancy test which can detect low levels of hCG within your urine.
You should use the test with your first morning urine as this means you will get the most accurate result and read the test as per the instructions. Usually the presence of a line (which may be very faint) indicates you are pregnant. You should then phone your clinic to tell them the news so that they can update their records and go through the next steps with you.
What are the next steps?
If you got a BFN (big fat negative) then you could be asked to come in for a review meeting to discuss the treatment plan you had, and you will be asked if you want to try again. If there were any areas of the protocol that you or your medical team aren’t happy with then they will likely adjust your protocol or medication dosages to improve your chances next time.
If you got a BFP (big fat positive) then you will be given a appointment for an early scan. This will be to check the location of the pregnancy (i.e. to ensure it’s not ectopic), it has a heartbeat (i.e. it is a viable pregnancy), size and foetal body and foetal pole. This will usually be about 3 weeks after the beta test so around 7 weeks pregnant.
What if my pregnancy test is later the 9dp5dt?
If your clinic does the testing later than this then you can either wait until the date which they have given you or you can choose to do a home pregnancy test.
If you choose to do a home pregnancy test note the sensitivity of the test which will usually be written on the box. This is important because at this early stage as we showed earlier you can have very low levels of hCG especially in your urine. Due to this and the accuracy of urine pregnancy testing you can still get false negatives. There are plenty of stories online about people who got negative pregnancy tests 9dp5dt using a home test only to get positive beta tests, so try not to lose hope until either aunt flow (your period) comes or your blood test show’s you’re not pregnant.
Our experience of 9dp5dt
We actually started testing on both our cycles around 7dp5dt and the main reason for that was that I just couldn’t wait, but I will say to you it was an absolute emotional roller-coaster.
In 3 days we had a negative, a false positive and another negative on the first cycle, the false positive was the hardest! Yes, and they weren’t even in sequence. On the second cycle I began testing on the same day but the first positive was so faint that Nathan was not convinced and would tell you I had a false negative test that day. The following two days I had clear positive results and then my positive beta hCG.
After having researched and discussed this with fertility specialists, it’s because this early in pregnancy your hormone levels are constantly changing, the concentration of hCG in your urine is constantly changing and the sensitivity of the tests is not really strong enough till a minimum of 14dpo (days post ovulation) which is 9dp5dt.
I did do a home pregnancy test on the mornings of my blood test and both of them agreed with the result of the blood test which was not pregnant for cycle 1 and pregnant for cycle 2. This day came with grief, sadness and loss on the first cycle where we both felt very low knowing we’d never meet Emby 1 and Emby 2 again. But then absolute elation, excitement, joy and relief on cycle 2 when Blasty implanted and we just crossed our fingers for a smooth pregnancy which so far has been the case.
I wish you all the luck for whatever your beta test brings you as I know how hard it is. Let us know if you have any questions or what your experiences have been with 9dp5dt.
Thanks for reading, about 9dp5dt. The IVF process is a long and arduous process and the TWW can feel about the same length even if it is only about a 6th of the length of time. If you got this far then your probably interested in reading more about the TWW and what comes next, these are some of the articles that we recommend you go to next:
12 Tips to help you survive the TWW – We know you’re reading about the two week wait so why not see if there is anything to help you over the next few days.
What happens after a BFP – Learn what to expect in the next 5 weeks before you have viability scan – we explore the very early stages of pregnancy
Chemical Pregnancy – Sometimes you get a boarderline hCG blood test which means you could be pregnant, you could be not. It can also mean that you had a chemical pregnancy; understand what this means and why it might just hav a silver lining
How long to wait between IVF cycles – If you do get a negative result, firstly we’re sorry. If you are going to go for more IVF treatment then deciding whether to go back to back or take a break is an important one, use this guide to help you make the right descion for you
Emotional impacts of a non successful IVF cycle – Explore the emotional impacts of having an unsuccessful IVF treatment.