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    in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

    Early Pregnancy Symptoms after IVF Embryo Transfer

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    • 4.5   (1 Votes)

    Early pregnancy symptoms generally appear after two weeks of IVF embryo transfer. The first signs of pregnancy after embryo implantation include missed periods, nausea, spotting, tiredness, increased BBT and mood swings, fatigue, and certain changes in the breasts.

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the assisted reproductive technologies, which is available to achieve a successful pregnancy for a couple who has problems in conceiving naturally. IVF is a process that includes various steps from stimulation of ovaries to embryo transfer. It is performed with the help of various latest and advanced medical technologies. The technology used in In Vitro Fertilization treatment and the consumable market is projected to generate revenue significantly due to the impressive IVF success rates across the globe. From last few years, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has gained wide attention from the couples having fertility issues, the single mother, and other infertile population who are supporting its market growth. Increasing awareness about the effective fertilization process along with the increased cases of infertility is majorly fueling the demand for infertility treatments. A growing number of successful diagnoses in different countries are boosting the demand for the improved quality products in the market. However, the presence of ethical issues, legal problems, and higher cost of devices, and consumables are becoming the hurdle in the projected industry growth. (1)

    According to one of the recent studies:

    • 59 percent of women start feeling symptoms of pregnancy between the beginning of the fifth week to the end of the sixth week.
    • 71 percent of women start feeling pregnancy symptoms by the end of the sixth week.
    • A total of 89 percent of women have reported early pregnancy symptoms by the end of the eighth week. (2)

    In this article, you will get to know about:

    1. What is a full term pregnancy?

    Pregnancy generally lasts about 40 weeks i.e. 280 days from the first day of last menstrual period (also called LMP) to the due date. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) define a full-term pregnancy as a pregnancy that lasts between 39 weeks to 40 weeks 6 days. This means the birth of the baby between 1 week before the due date and 1 week after the due date. Babies born in a full term pregnancy have the best chance of being healthy, compared with babies born earlier or later.

    ACOG and SMFM use these definitions to describe a full term pregnancy:

    • Early term: The baby who is born early has fewer chances of being healthy. In this type of pregnancy, the baby is born between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, 6 days of the pregnancy term.
    • Full term: The baby who is born in full-term pregnancy has the highest chance of being healthy. In this type of pregnancy, the child is born between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks, 6 days. 
    • Late term: A woman who is having a late-term pregnancy has less chance of having a healthy child. In this type of pregnancy, the child is born between 41 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 6 days.
    • Post-term: The baby who is born in post-term pregnancy has fewer chances of being healthy. In this type of pregnancy, the baby is born after 42 weeks, 0 days. (3)

    2. How is the pregnancy due date estimated?

    The estimated date of delivery i.e. when a baby is born is called the "Estimated Due Date (EDD)". This date is based on the last menstrual period or an ultrasound exam. The LMP and ultrasound dating methods often are used together to estimate the estimate due date. A woman must keep in mind that only 1 in 20 women actually gives birth on their estimated due date. (4)

    3. What are the Stages of Pregnancy?

    There are a huge number of early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. A woman may feel multiple symptoms at her pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, fever, etc. Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, counting from the first day of the last menstrual period. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters which are:

    • First Trimester (week 1 to week 12): During the first trimester, a woman's body undergoes many changes. Also, hormonal changes also affect every organ system of a woman's body. These changes can trigger pregnancy symptoms even in the very first week after embryo transfer. Some of the other changes are extreme tiredness, swollen breasts, mood swings, heartburn, headache, and weight gain or loss. As the body changes, a woman might need to make changes to her daily routine, such as going to bed earlier or eating frequent, small meals. Fortunately, most of the discomforts will go away with the progression of the pregnancy.
    • Second Trimester (week 13 to week 28): Most of the pregnant women find their second trimester of pregnancy easier than the first one. Some changes a woman may experience in her body are body pain, stretch marks, swelling of ankles, numb and tingling hands, along with darkening of the skin around the nipples. 
    • Third Trimester (week 29 to week 40): A woman may experience some of the same discomforts, she had experience in her second trimester. Many women can find breathing difficulties and notice that they have to go to the washroom more often. These difficulties occur because of the steady growth of the baby and is putting more pressure on your organs. Some of the changes a woman can feel shortness of breath, trouble in sleeping, hemorrhoids, and tender breasts. As a woman is near her due date, her cervix becomes thinner and softer i.e. called effacing. This is a natural process that helps the vagina to open during the delivery. (5)

    4. What are Early Pregnancy Complications?

    Early pregnancy complications are health problems that occur during pregnancy. Complications of pregnancy can involve the pregnant woman's health, the baby's health, or both. Some women have health problems before they conceive that could lead to complications. Other problems can also arise during their pregnancy tenure. Whether a complication is common or rare, there are ways to manage problems that occur during pregnancy. 

    Health problems before pregnancy: Before pregnancy, a woman must make sure to talk to her gynecologist about her health problems if any. If in case a woman is receiving treatment for her health problem, her doctor might change her treatment as per her health problems. Some medicines used to treat health issues caused during pregnancy could be harmful. At the same time, stopping medicines to cure the health issue could be more harmful. A woman should be assured that she is likely to have a normal, healthy baby when all her health problems are under control. Every woman should receive good prenatal care. Some of the health issues that can affect pregnancy include Asthma, Depression, Diabetes, High blood pressure, Migraine, Thyroid disease, and Uterine Fibroids.

    Pregnancy-related problems: Sometimes pregnancy problems arise even in healthy women. These problems are detected while the prenatal tests are done during pregnancy. A woman can also use a chart to learn and keep a track about some common pregnancy complications which can occur during the pregnancy tenure. If a woman finds any health problem then she should make sure to follow her doctor's advice about treatment. Doing so will boost her chances of having a safe delivery and birth a healthy baby.

    Infections during pregnancy: During pregnancy, the baby is protected from many illnesses, such as from common cold or a passing stomach bug. But some infections can be harmful to a woman's pregnancy i.e. for the baby and you both. Easy steps, such as hand washing, practicing safe sex, and avoiding certain foods, can help protect a woman from some infections. These infections include bacterial vaginosis, Hepatitis B virus, Influenza, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), and Yeast infection. (6)

    5. What is the Pregnancy Symptoms after Frozen Embryo Transfer?

    After IVF embryo transfer, a patient is recommended to take two weeks rest. As two weeks is the time period in which the embryo implantation is expected to occur. The patient starts experiencing early pregnancy symptoms after her Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) hormone begins to rise. However, pregnancy symptoms can vary in their occurrence in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration. (7) Pregnant women need to note that high HCG levels increase the chances of conception of twins. 

    6. Early Pregnancy Symptoms after IVF Embryo Transfer:

    Some early pregnancy symptoms after embryo implantation are:

    • Cramping after embryo transfer: Mild cramping and pelvic discomfort are very common after embryo implantation. Cramping usually occurs when the uterus expands and the ligaments and the muscles stretch to support it. (8) While it is normal to have mild to moderate cramping but if in case a patient feels severe cramping then one should contact the doctor immediately. As having severe cramping is also a sign of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) or Ovarian Torsion. Implantation bleeding can be caused between 10 to 14 days (week 4) after conception, as the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. (9)
    • Nausea or morning sickness: Nausea is also known as morning sickness and it is the second most commonly reported early pregnancy symptoms. Nausea typically occurs between two to eight weeks during pregnancy. (10)
    • Spotting or vaginal discharge: When the embryo implants into the uterus of the woman, impaired small capillaries in uterine lining may cause bleeding. This small amount of bleeding is known as spotting. However, the embryo generally implants between 6 to 12 days after conception. (10) Another reason for blood spotting is progesterone supplementation through vaginal suppositories. Whereas, it can cause the cervix to be extra sensitive.
    • Missed periods: One of the earliest and the most significant signs of pregnancy are missed periods. The medications and IVF process make quite an impact on the reproductive organs of a woman. However, when fluid builds up around the ovaries it causes bloating and pelvic tenderness.
    • Changes in breasts: After IVF embryo transfer, a woman may notice softness, firmness, or swelling in her breast than usual as a woman’s hormonal levels changes rapidly. (11) She may feel that her nipples are tendered with darker areolas.
    • Fatigue or tiredness: Fatigue or tiredness can be another significant pregnancy symptom after the embryo implantation procedure. It is common to feel tiredness during the early pregnancy stages. However, fatigue is caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone. This hormone helps the fetus to grow.
    • Frequent urination and excessive thirst: A woman may experience frequent urination and excessive thirst between 6 to 8 weeks of her pregnancy. It is because of the increasing size of the baby which is why uterus places pressure on her bladder. (10)
    • Mood swings: Mood swings are caused due to significant changes in hormone levels which occur during pregnancy phases in women. As, the hormones can affect the level of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals secreted in the brain for mood regulation. Mood swings are mostly experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy between six to ten weeks and at times in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. However, it is also important to note that a woman might also start experiencing depression which is also very common. 
    • Increased basal body temperature: The Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is high during embryo implantation in the uterus as well as it can be a way to determine pregnancy. As BBT rises at the time of ovulation due to an increase in progesterone hormone and remains elevated when implantation occurs. The BBT remains higher throughout the two-week wait until the results with respect to pregnancy are checked.

    Unfortunately, many of the above mentioned early symptoms of pregnancy aren't unique. Some can also indicate that a woman is getting sick or that her periods are about to start. Likewise, a woman can be pregnant without experiencing many of these symptoms. Still, if a woman misses her period and notices some of the above-mentioned symptoms of pregnancy then she is suggested to take a home pregnancy test. If the home pregnancy test is positive then she can make an appointment with her consultant gynecologist. The sooner the pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner a woman can begin prenatal care under an experienced obstetrician. (12)

    7. Early Pregnancy Symptoms Highlights:

    • 25 percent of women indicated that nausea was their first pregnancy symptom. 
    • 29 percent of women surveyed by the American Pregnancy Association reported a missed period as their first pregnancy symptom. (13)
    • 17 percent reported that a change in their breasts was the early symptom of pregnancy.

    8. What is the Early Pregnancy Symptoms that a woman may miss?

    There are some early pregnancy symptoms a woman may miss such as:

    • Craving things that aren't food: Some researchers speculate that a woman may have pica cravings which occur due to a lack of nutrients or iron deficiency. Some of them believe that it’s a desire to eat substances with a unique texture, such as dirt or chalk.
    • Foods that a woman might start tasting weird: Every woman has certain favorite dishes that she can eat on a weekly basis. If in case the favorite dish of a woman is pizza and suddenly she develops a weird craving for sardines then she may be pregnant.
    • PUPPP Rash: A woman may also have some rashes as their early signs of pregnancy. PUPPP is the most common type of skin dermatosis of pregnancy. It is most common with first pregnancies.

    9. What are some of the helpful tools for IVF Patients to know their early pregnancy symptoms?

    After undergoing multiple embryo transfers in IVF cycles, a patient can accurately mention if none of the above-mentioned symptoms helped them get through this difficult time. Here are some of the tools which can help a patient to understand her early pregnancy symptoms after an IVF embryo transfer.

    • Keeping patience until two weeks of embryo transfer: One of the best ways to keep a check of early pregnancy symptoms is The Two Week Wait. This is the time period which is calculated right after the embryo transfer step in the IVF procedure gets completed. A woman can also compare her early pregnancy symptoms after embryo transfer is BFP i.e. Big Fat Positive Pregnancy test.
    • Comparing Symptoms from Past Embryo Transfers: A patient can compare her symptoms of pregnancy from her past embryo transfers experience. The comparison can result in big fat positive (BFP) or big fat negative (BFN).
    • Consulting Implantation Timeline after Embryo Transfer: This handy and easy to manage chart offers a day-by-day breakdown of events happening after embryo transfer step in IVF treatment. This can help a woman to know her symptoms of pregnancy post embryo transfer.
    • Reading IVF Success Stories on Online Portals: IVF success stories plays a role of lifejackets that keeps a patient stay encouraged during her most difficult times especially after the treatment. IVF success stories will lead a patient to know whether she is going on the right track or not. This proves to be helpful while she seeks assistance from a health professional.
    • Luteal Blood Test Results: If a patient is going through a medically assisted transfer procedure, then a luteal blood test is done. This test is performed halfway through the two-week wait to confirm whether the progesterone levels suffice and contribute to a successful IVF procedure.
    • Using Early Detection Pregnancy Tests: One of the most sensitive pregnancy tests in the fertility market is the First Response Early Results (FRER) test. This particular test which can detect hCG at concentrations as low as 6.5 mIU/ml (thousandths of an International Unit per milliliter) in a woman's urine. According to Consumer Reports, it has indicated that it is the most sensitive method to detect any pregnancy soon after the embryo implantation. (14)

    10. HCG For Detecting Early pregnancy symptoms post Embryo Transfer:

    Hyperglycosylated hCG is the primary hCG form which is present during the initial 4 weeks of pregnancy. A monoclonal antibody i.e. B152 raised against hhCG has >99 % specificity for hhCG relative to hCG. However, many antibodies raised to hCG have significant cross-reactivity with HCG. The hhCG measurement can discriminate between biochemical and clinical pregnancy. (15)

    11. Why is Early Prediction of Pregnancy an Important Step?

    Early prediction of pregnancy is important in natural and IVF pregnancies as well. As in the pregnancies following Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) the chance of having ectopic pregnancies are high. In particular, the patients with tubal factor infertility are at an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. These patients need to get special attention to avoid further impairment of fertility. The rate of multiple gestations is also high and ranges from 20 to 25 percent. However, early pregnancy loss can cause anxiety in the couples involved. On the basis of research, it is stated that HCG concentration can help in predicting whether the pregnancy is positive or not. This test can be performed even after early as 11–12 days of embryo transfer. (16)

    The article contains all the early pregnancy symptoms after IVF embryo transfer. A woman whose pregnancy is following ART can go through these symptoms to know whether she is on the right path or not. Sometimes a woman may miss some of the pregnancy symptoms. You can also get to know about various infertility treatments such as IUI, ICSI, TESA, Surrogacy, MESA, and many others by visiting OVO fertility".com or else you can also contact us on +918268260808.

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    Shamindra Kaisth

    Dec. 10, 2018, 6:59 p.m. 4.5

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    The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.

    It is not advised to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition or disease following the information given in this article. We insist you to consult a registered practitioner and never try to replace their advice or discontinue treatment in between by relying solely on the information obtained. External links to different websites as well as videos given on the website serve the purpose of sharing knowledge only. Ovo Health being an Independent Medical Information platform is neither responsible nor guarantees the authenticity, reliability, and accuracy of these videos and websites in any way. We do not intend the information displayed here to be used for a medical emergency, if you seek medical attention for yourself (or any other person with whom you want to share the information with), we advise you to directly get in touch with the hospital or the doctor.

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