For anyone pregnant after fertility treatment

I’ve heard from so many people recently who are pregnant after fertility problems who are full of anxiety and feel their pregnancies, which ought to be joyful, are being tainted by the worries from the time spent trying to conceive. Women then blame themselves once again for not being “normal”, but this is a perfectly understandable response to finally finding yourself pregnant after fertility problems. You may find it hard to have faith that things are going to be all right when you have become so accustomed to them not being all right.

It may be helpful to know that there is a closed Facebook group which I look after for the patient charity Fertility Network UK which is just for people who are pregnant after fertility problems which you can find at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Pregnancyafterinfertility/

The other resource which may be helpful is a book I wrote because I felt so strongly about the lack of understanding for people who are pregnant after fertility problems. It’s called Precious Babies – Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting after Infertility and you can buy it from Amazon. It goes from the positive pregnancy test right through birth and early parenthood to interviews with adults conceived by IVF and I hope it helps you realise that you are not alone and that others feel the same way after fertility problems.

 

If you have been successful with IVF…

120px-Pregnancy_test_resultIf you are pregnant after fertility treatment and live in the South East, would you be willing to help with a research project?

Liz Gale, a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Greenwich, is interested in the experiences of parents to be who are expecting their first child through IVF. This study is open to prospective parents who live in London or the South East and are expecting their first child, conceived using IVF or ICSI, genetically belonging to both parents. Full ethical approval for the study has been granted from the University of Greenwich research ethics committee.

Involvement in the study will entail 3 interviews, one antenatally at 34 weeks, the second when the baby is six weeks old and another 3 months following the birth. Interviews will take place in participant’s own home or somewhere convenient to you. You will also be asked to keep a diary to complete at your own convenience; this will not be onerous but will allow you to record your early experiences of parenthood; the diary will be reviewed by the researcher but will be yours to keep as a record of your early days with your baby. Anonymity is guaranteed and if you choose to participate you would have the right to withdraw at any point.

The study is undertaken as part of Liz’s PhD and once completed, the findings will be used to improve the care and support for parents with an IVF baby. If you are interested in taking part or wish to find out more information, please contact Liz at e.a.gale@greenwich.ac.uk

How can I tell if I am pregnant?

120px-Pregnancy_test_resultWhen you’ve spent months or even years hoping that you might be pregnant, you probably know all you need to about the signs of early pregnancy – morning sickness, tingling breasts, nausea…   And if you’ve just done an IVF cycle, you’re probably looking out for any sign that your treatment may have worked.

Pregnancy symptoms during the two week wait

Women are often convinced that their treatment can’t possibly have worked because they don’t have any symptoms during the two week wait – but in reality it would be more unusual if you did have signs of pregnancy just days after conceiving. For most women who conceive naturally, they first suspect that they may be pregnant when their period is late – and for most women who conceive with IVF, it’s the pregnancy test that tells them that the treatment has been successful.

Testing for pregnancy early 

It can be tempting to test early, especially if you are driving yourself mad wondering whether you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms, but it is always a good idea to wait until the end of the two week wait. If you test early, sometimes this means that you will get a negative result when you are in fact pregnant just because your hormone levels aren’t sufficiently high to be picked up by the test.

There’s no easy solution to the tensions of the two week wait, but one thing you certainly don’t need to worry about is not feeling pregnant as it really doesn’t have any bearing on the outcome at such an early stage.