Twelve days after the embryo transfer, the woman should take a blood pregnancy test to find out if she is pregnant. If embryo implantation has occurred, beta-hCG hormone will be detectable in the mother's blood at that time. This hormone is what we look for with a pregnancy test.
It is not recommended to take a urine pregnancy test after IVF treatment. The reason is that there are a lot of falsely negative results. The most sensitive pregnancy test is a blood test for the presence of beta hCG (beta human chorionic synthetic follicle stimulating hormone) which is produced by the embryo.
There is a large variation in a "normal" hCG level for any given time in pregnancy.
Pregnancies destined to miscarry or to be ectopic (tubal) pregnancies tend to show lower levels (eventually), but often have normal levels initially.
Some normal pregnancies will have quite low levels of hCG and deliver perfect babies. Ultrasound findings are much more predictive of pregnancy outcome than are hCG levels. The first ultrasound scan is performed about 2 weeks later in order to confirm the presence of gestational sac and yolk sac.
In general, the hCG level doubles every 2-3 days in early pregnancy.
Sometimes, when the pregnancy test is positive, the first response is often one of disbelief since it's hard to believe you are finally pregnant, especially if you have been trying for many years. Some patients get emotional - it's over! But you soon realize that it's not all over. What you want is not only a pregnancy but a baby. There are still uncertainties, and things can still go wrong, which is why careful monitoring is essential.