To help your body prepare itself for the embryos, you will be given daily progesterone to supplement your own. This additional progesterone starts the day after egg retrieval and continues for at least two weeks. Progesterone is a hormone which transforms the lining of the uterus to be an ideal receptor for the embryos.
After the embryo transfer, it’s now up to nature. The front and back walls of the uterus gently squeeze the embryos and keeps them in the uterine cavity. Your embryos cannot fall out, so there is no need to restrict physical or sexual activity. Even so, it might be wise to wait a few days before beginning any strenuous activity.
About two weeks after transfer, a blood test will be performed to determine if you are pregnant. This can be done at any lab of your choice. Your results should be available the same day. If the pregnancy test is positive, an ultrasound will be scheduled two weeks later to determine the implantation site and often detects a heartbeat. The heartbeat should be seen by four weeks after a positive pregnancy test. At this time, you will be given instructions regarding progesterone or other medication use.
Once a heartbeat is detected, there is a 90-95% probability that the pregnancy will continue to a live birth. There is only a 5-10% chance of miscarriage. IVF pregnancies are no higher a risk than natural pregnancies. At about 12 weeks into your pregnancy, you can return to your obstetrician for routine prenatal care.
If the pregnancy test comes back negative, you can stop the progesterone. Your period should start in a few days. You can begin another IVF cycle after one spontaneous menstrual cycle. Waiting will give your ovaries time to rest from the previous IVF treatment. There are several factors to consider before deciding on how many IVF cycles you may try before moving on to other treatments. These factors include your response, age, previous IVF cycles and the number of years you have been infertile. Just because you may not become pregnant after one, two or even three tries, does not automatically mean your chances of becoming pregnant are slim.
A Typical IVF Calendar (based on 28-day menstrual cycle)