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Getting the good news that you are pregnant following fertility treatment is amazing and triumphant. But don’t be surprised if emotions other than happiness and relief are aroused with the news. Many women experience shock and disbelief and can only react with “are you sure?” There may be a great deal of fear and anxiety, especially about pregnancy loss. Some of this fear will be eased with the additional testing and counseling by your doctor that occurs after a positive pregnancy test.
Following a positive pregnancy test, the fertility clinic will likely continue monitoring hCG and progesterone levels via blood tests every few days until about five weeks into the pregnancy. The doctor will conduct two sonograms in week five, one in week six, and one in week seven. These sonograms allow the doctor to check that the pregnancy is normally located and appears viable, and whether there is more than one fetus. If all is going well, after week seven your fertility specialist will “graduate” you and refer you to an ob/gyn to monitor the remainder of the pregnancy.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
It's important to remember that not all women will experience the same symptoms or have the symptoms to the same degree. Additionally a woman may find her symptoms vary from one pregnancy to the next. The following are the most common pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester:
- Missed menstrual period
- Breast swelling, tenderness or pain
- Morning sickness and nausea
- Mild abdominal cramping
- Frequent urination
Many of these symptoms will disappear in the second trimester and you will be able to enjoy this special time.
Statistics offer a glimpse into pregnancy success rates following treatment. “Assisted Reproductive Technology: The National Summary and Fertility Clinic Reports” published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers data from the 483 fertility clinics in operation in the U.S. in 2006. The 138,198 assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles performed at these clinics resulted in 41,343 live births (deliveries of one or more living infants) and 54,656 infants. Broken down in other terms, the percentage of ART cycles using fresh embryos from non-donor eggs that resulted in live births in 2006 is:
- 38.7 percent for women under age 35
- 30.4 percent for women age 35-37
- 20.6 percent for the 38-40 age group
- 10.8 percent for women age 41-42