home pregnancy test

When the big day has come and gone and you’ve officially had your IVF embryo transfer, what comes next? It is simply human nature to move on to the next set of worries as you begin to wonder whether or not the IVF transfer has been successful and resulted in a pregnancy. Whether you’re a hopeful recipient mother of donor eggs, or an excited surrogate mother wishing for success for your intended parents,  the dreaded two week wait is infamous in the world of IVF and third party reproduction. Although every IVF office has a different protocol for how soon they will run the first pregnancy blood test ranging from 8-14 days on average, it always feels longer.  And so the big question is, to take the home pregnancy test or not? It’s a conundrum that baffles even the most well-prepared IVFers .

First let’s talk about top 2 the benefits of waiting for the official blood test to confirm pregnancy:

  1. You get to relish being “PUPO” (Pronounced “Pupp-Oh”) or “Pregnant until proven otherwise”. That’s right, during that two week wait you get to act as though you already know you are pregnant. Put your feet up, take it easy, dream about what the future holds. Do you want to watch a corny romantic comedy while you nosh on some room service in your post-IVF hotel room? Go right on ahead! You have done everything to get to the point of the IVF transfer- now it’s time for some R&R.
  2. The official blood test is more reliable than a home pregnancy test. There, I said it. And I know I know it’s hard to wait BUT keep in mind a home pregnancy can be wrong or misleading. You might be prepared for the worst come your official test day if you took a home test and it was negative, but the test can lie if you don’t have enough HCG yet in your urine to trigger a positive result. Or even worse, you might be confident of success because of a positive home test only to find the HCG numbers on the official test are indicative of a chemical pregnancy. That official pregnancy blood test is going to give you a much better idea of what the future holds.

So now you might be wondering- why take the home test at all? It would be so much more fun to act pregnant for two weeks and then get more accurate test results from the doctor, right?  If you have the patience to wait that is fantastic, but not everyone has the same inclination. Some reasons people choose to take a home pregnancy test are:

  1. A home test can mentally prepare you for the upcoming official results if you feel you need to be prepared. Keep in mind you might also still be surprised for better or for worse.
  2. Everybody needs a hobby. For some recipient moms and surrogate mothers that hobby is taking home pregnancy tests to pass the two week wait period and feel some sense of control (albeit a false sense of control) over the outcome. There are entire websites  and social media group dedicated women taking home pregnancy tests squinting really hard hoping to see even the faintest positive line. For most people this is a good way to go crazy fast, but for others it is therapeutic.

The best advice, regardless of whether or not you choose to take a home pregnancy test (or several), is to keep the results private until the official test results are in. This is especially important for surrogate mothers, as you don’t want to be responsible for confusing the intended parents with results that may not be accurate. If you’re going through this process as a recipient mom, make sure you know how your partner feels about home pregnancy testing and be respectful of their wishes as well.

We hope that you can enjoy the journey, and the two week wait is just one part of the process that will bring you or your intended parents closer to a bundle of joy. Hang in there are stay positive!