There are no words to describe the joy, gratitude, and relief of knowing you’re finally pregnant after IVF. Once that emotional rollercoaster settles into a more predictable rhythm, and you move through Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 of your pregnancy, it’s time to begin transitioning your sights from fertility treatment patient to prenatal patient.
After IVF: Making the Transition to Prenatal Care
This transition is often unnerving for patients, especially those who’ve spent years or multiple IVF cycles trying to get pregnant. It may feel scary moving to the realm of “normal” again. But in most cases, that’s exactly how we and the obstetrics realm view you and your pregnancy.
Here are some FAQ’s about prenatal care IVF.
1. Doesn’t going through IVF make me a high-risk pregnant patient?
In fact, it doesn’t. Most women who get pregnant through IVF are not considered high-risk, nor do they need to look for a high-risk OB or another prenatal specialist. If you are otherwise healthy, you can schedule prenatal appointments with your favorite OB. And if you weren’t a fan of your OB/GYN, use these first six weeks to shop around for a new one.
Unsurprisingly, most women who finally get pregnant from IVF feel like high-risk pregnancies. If they could cocoon their bodies in bubble wrap and float through the next eight to nine months, they would! You’ve worked so hard and been through so much to get to where you are today.
Even if you have some of the factors that designate a high-risk pregnancy (36 years old or older, having twins or triplets, etc.), an obstetrician is more than qualified to support you through the pregnancy. However, if there are any factors that do put you in the high-risk category, your fertility specialist will let you know and will refer you to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist.
2. Do I need to do anything differently during my pregnancy compared with women who don’t have an infertility factor?
In most cases, the answer is no. You’ll do the same things that other women do, like eating well, taking your prenatal vitamins, getting regular exercise, and getting all the rest you can over the next nine months.
However, your OB must have access to your full fertility and medical history. Women with infertility who conceive with IVF do have increased risks during pregnancy. Women who’ve used IVF are more likely to experience the following:
- Preterm delivery
- Babies born with lower birth weights
We aren’t sure whether this is due to underlying fertility, medical issues, or specific fertility treatment interventions. This is an active area of research. So, the more your OB knows, the better they can take care of you for the duration of your pregnancy.
3. Do I continue to visit my infertility specialist throughout my pregnancy?
Again, the answer is no. You’ll continue visits with us for the first six to eight weeks of your pregnancy. After that, you’ll have your first official appointment with the OB of your choice. We’ll provide complete access to your fertility treatment records and are happy to connect with them to support the transition. We’re also here to answer any questions or concerns the OB may have along the way.
However, it is important that – in addition to your regular prenatal appointments (in most cases – every four weeks until you reach 36 weeks), you continue making annual appointments with your primary care physician or any specialists. Your whole-body health is 100% connected to prenatal and fetal health, so you want to keep up with it all.
Fertility Solutions Works with Patients for Smooth Prenatal Transitions
We understand how scary it can feel to make the leap from fertility specialist support to regular prenatal appointments. The team at Fertility Solutions is here to support that transition, making it as stress-free and seamless as possible. Have questions or concerns about your pregnancy? We understand. Contact us, and we’ll do all we can to provide peace of mind so you can enjoy your pregnancy to its fullest.