Pregnancy After Infertility

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Surviving the 2 Week Wait

Whether you have tried to get pregnant without treatment or with drugs, IUI and/or IVF, the part of the cycle that involves waiting to hear the "news" about your cycle may be exhausting. Each day you may be monitoring your body for signs of early pregnancy or for signs that you feel may mean your menstrual bleeding will soon begin. It is like being on a rollercoaster of hope and fear. Consider the following survival tips:

Emotional Coping Strategies

  • Limit the number of people you tell about your cycle and let them know how you will share the outcome of the cycle. Some couples tell their family and friends, "No news is bad news," to eliminate the need to call them with bad news.
  • Decide in advance how you will handle questions from those you have told. Sometimes it helps to rehearse your responses.
  • Decide with your partner how you want to receive the news about the cycle. For example, if you are having a blood test to determine if you are pregnant, decide where and to whom the results should be given. Some women want their partner/husband's to give them the news, whether it is good or bad, versus hearing a message on the answering machine.
  • Set time aside to talk with your partner about your feelings.
  • Tell your partner what you will need if the news is not positive. Do you want to be distracted and go out to eat or to a movie, or do you want to be left alone? Do you want to talk about the next steps in treatment or options, or wait a few days? Give your partner specifics on this- he can't read your mind.
  • Treat yourself by spending time doing the things you enjoy the most: preparing a wonderful meal, taking long walks or curling up and reading a good book.
  • Protect yourself emotionally. For example, don't plan on going to a dinner party given by a pregnant friend the day you expect to get your pregnancy test results.
  • Take slow, deep breaths when you are feeling anxious. This basic technique can assist you physiologically, as well as being mentally calming.
  • Try reframing your thoughts. This is very helpful when you are experiencing negative thoughts or if your thoughts are driving you crazy by alternating between thinking you are or aren't pregnant. For example, the thought "The test will be negative and I'll never be pregnant," may end up as "I am open to the possibility of being pregnant and I'm doing everything I can to make that happen."

Medical Questions and Answers

What if I am spotting?
If you start to have vaginal spotting, don't panic. It is possible to be pregnant and spot as well.

Does it mean I'm pregnant if I have symptoms?
Remember that some of the early physical signs of pregnancy: breast tenderness, bloating, tiredness and stomach upset can also be caused by the drugs you may be taking, such as progesterone. Symptoms of pregnancy can come and go in some woman. You may feel very pregnant one day and feel nothing the next day. You can't depend on your body to tell you if you are pregnant; you have to wait for the test.

Do I need to stay off my feet? Can I exercise?
Your clinic will instruct you regarding activity especially if you had an IVF cycle. In any case only do moderate exercise - avoid step aerobics and exercise that elevate your body temperature and pulse rate excessively.

Are there any foods I should avoid?
Foods with MSG and synthetic sweeteners should be avoided in early pregnancy.

Should I avoid intercourse?
Unless you are spotting, intercourse is fine. However, discuss this with your doctor if you have had a history of miscarriage or are facing a high-risk pregnancy.

Will the cramps and twinges that may be a result of progesterone ruin my chances for implantation?
No this is just a side effect of the progesterone and does not impact implantation.

I'm thinking of using a home pregnancy test before my blood pregnancy test. Will it be accurate?
The most accurate test is the blood test. If you had an hCG shot you must wait at least 12 days to get an accurate result with a pregnancy test.

What symptoms should I be aware of, and should I contact my doctor if I have?
If you have any of the following symptoms: a fever; bright red vaginal bleeding; abdominal, pelvic, neck or leg pain; feeling faint or extremely dizzy and weak, call your doctor. They could indicate an infection or tubal pregnancy, which need medical attention.