Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), countless people have been able to experience the joys of parenthood. Dr. Kathleen Doody and Dr. Kevin Doody have used the popular fertility treatment to address both male and female infertility problems. IVF is one of many procedures available at our Fort Worth and Bedford, TX fertility centers.
We often use blood tests and ultrasound at CARE Fertility to ensure the success of treatment. We’d like to go over the general timeline of blood tests and ultrasound for IVF patients so you have a general understanding of what happens during the process.
Prior to starting the IVF process, patients will usually require some bloodwork and an ultrasound. Blood tests will help determine ovarian reserve and hormone levels, while the ultrasound will help examine the uterus. This sort of testing allows our fertility doctors to properly tailor the IVF procedure and any other fertility treatments to your needs.
During the actual IVF procedure, bloodwork and ultrasounds will be used to help determine egg quality and ensure proper timing of the various steps in the procedure. Ultrasound may be used during egg retrieval, though it may not be required for the embryo transfer process. We can discuss this with you as the process progresses.
Two weeks after embryo transfer has been performed, an official pregnancy test will be done at our office. This will involve some bloodwork to measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in a patient’s system. hCG is known as the “pregnancy hormone.”
Over-the-counter pregnancy tests could yield false positives since they check a patient’s urine. The sure way to confirm pregnancy or a failed IVF cycle is to undergo an official test at the practice.
After a patient’s pregnancy is confirmed, it’s important to undergo regular monitoring of the baby. The first ultrasound takes place roughly five weeks after the blood test that confirmed the pregnancy. By this time, the patient will have been pregnant for about six or seven weeks.
By the sixth or seventh week, the ultrasound will be able to detect the heartbeat of the fetus. We’ll be able to determine if a patient is pregnant with a single baby or is going to have twins or triplets. Any early developmental problems can usually be diagnosed at this point as well.
After the first ultrasound, patients can expect another ultrasound at week nine of pregnancy and another at week 12 of pregnancy. These subsequent ultrasound tests will continue to monitor the health and wellness of the developing fetus, and help ensure that all is well with the pregnancy.
After the last ultrasound at 12 weeks, prenatal care is typically transferred from our team to the patient’s OB/GYN. We’re happy to help IVF patients through this crucial early stage of pregnancy, and we enjoy hearing about their continued journey in building their family.
If you would like more information about testing and monitoring after successful IVF treatment, we encourage you to contact our experienced fertility doctors. Schedule an appointment today.