IVF Pregnancy: What happens after getting the Big Fat Positive

IVF Pregnancy: What happens after getting the Big Fat Positive

Firstly, if you have got your formal BFP then a huge congratulations. Especially if you have been through the whole trying for many years, then fertility testing then possibly multiple cycles of IVF. It’s been a long journey and now it’s done…you’ve finally got the outcome you have wanted for so long you are pregnant.

What happens next after my big fat positive after IVF?

So, you’ve had your 14-day blood test which has confirmed pregnancy and are officially 4 weeks pregnant. Now with IVF you will have a scan at 7 weeks before being discharged from your fertility clinic to maternity services. We’ll have a quick overview of what you may want to do during weeks 4-7 of pregnancy.

IVF Pregnancy Week 4

It is possible you will start to feel some symptoms now as you’re hCG levels begin to rise it is common for women to start experiencing nausea and vomiting anytime from now, this is normal but if it becomes excessive you will need to speak to your GP. Ensure you stay hydrated. You may also experience some cramping and mood swings.

  • You should also speak to your doctor if you have any ongoing conditions which still require treating as drug interactions during pregnancy are complex
  • Don’t take any over the counter or prescription medications apart from paracetamol without speaking to your doctor first.
  • Buy a pregnancy journal to document your journey, you have spent all this time and energy getting to this point remember to record it, it will be nice to look back on.
  • Ensure that you are taking a daily pregnancy multivitamin (400mg folic acid)
  • If you have cats, you now have an excuse not to clean the litter tray ask your partner to take over these delightful duties. The reason is that cat faeces can harbour parasites which can cause toxoplasmosis which can be very dangerous in pregnancy.

    IVF Pregnancy Week 5

    This week is amazing, did you know even though you foetus is only the size of a grain of sand its heart begins to pump blood, some of the other organs are starting to form and the arm and leg buds appear! You may continue to experience symptoms present from week 4 but can actually start to get baby brain, which is where you aren’t thinking as clearly and can feel a little muddled.

    • If you are starting to experience baby brain, lists become your best friend, make them at home and work to help you keep focused.
    • Make contact with your GP practice or midwife to book an appointment they normally like to see people between weeks 6-10 of pregnancy.
    • Start thinking about your finances, babies can have an impact on your finances, so start developing a savings plan (I know the fun things in life)!

    IVF Pregnancy Week 6

    This is the week that a lot of women report their pregnancy starting to feel ‘real’ whether this is to do with hormones or just time adjusting to the idea it’s unclear. With this can come a bit of anxiety, especially around miscarriages, however 6 weeks is the time that the chance of miscarriage reduces substantially as a 2013 study (link to research article) showed it was around 5% at weeks 6, so you can start to relax a little more.

    You can help minimise the risk by ensuring you look after yourself during this period – whilst these won’t stop a miscarriage they have been shown to increase the risk; the emotional damage which often accompanies miscarriages is from feelings of guilt and what more could I have done.

    • Take at least 400 mg of folic acid every day
    • Exercise regularly – this can be light, even if it’s only walking for 30 minutes a day
    • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
    • Take time for rest and relaxation
    • Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
    • Don’t drink alcohol and minimise caffeine intake
    • Make sure you are up to date on vaccinations
    • Some women who have undergone IVF treatment, especially those who have had multiple miscarriages or are on their last treatment, feel very anxious during this time. As such some of them choose to pay for a private 6-week scan to ensure everything is A-OK. This is entirely up to you. Early pregnancy scans with private providers will do this from 6-11 weeks.

    IVF Pregnancy Week 7

    The foetus is growing very quickly and has doubled in size in a week. Your hormone levels are still rising especially your hCG levels, so the nausea may intensify or start if you haven’t experienced it yet. You can now also start to get hunger cravings, just be careful not to give into every desire for ice cream at 2am.

    • Start thinking about when and how you want to tell family and friends. You are past the highest risk point so it’s ok to give yourself permission to think about these things
    • Now is a good time to make your first maternity purchase, cup sizes can go up by a full cup size in the first few weeks of pregnancy so invest now in the right size bra with good support
    • If you are very nauseous, then try and eat little and often, it often helps
    • Make a list of any questions you want to ask at your 7-week scan.
    • Take the letter you received from your clinic to your GP

    SCAN TIME!!!! This is very exciting it’s your first chance to see what’s inside you and hear the babies heart rate. It is very exciting. This is an image of our 7-week scan. You can’t see a huge amount but what you can see is incredible. From here if everything looks good you are generally referred into regular maternity services.

    Congratulations and Good Luck.