I recently read this really terrific blog post about if and when to POAS (pee on a stick – or take a home pregnancy test) after an IVF treatment. The author, Lisa Rouff, Ph.D., is a psychologist specializing in infertility and adoption. You can read the full post here.
Dr. Rouff offers some great insight about deciding IF you should consider POAS, and if so, when to start trying – based on your own expectations and tolerance. In other words, she tells you how to be “smart” about POAS based on your own personality.
One consideration that she doesn’t cover, is that sometimes home pregnancy tests can give you a sense of whether the embryo is implanting or not. If your clinic tells you to test at day 12 – 14 post transfer, you may have a negative test – but not know that the embryo had implanted but your hCG has already fallen to the “not pregnant” level. The one benefit of POAS rather early (say around 6 – 8 days post transfer for a donor IVF cycle, or 10 – 12 days post trigger shot for an own egg IVF cycle) is that if the embryo implanted and hCG started rising, you will likely get a positive test result early – even though it may turn into a negative if the pregnancy is not viable.
While that seems like it would get hopes up unnecessarily (which is why some clinics prefer to test around day 14 post transfer), I have seen patients with more than one failed IVF use this information to help determine whether there is simply a failure of the embryo to implant, or whether it may be immune or embryo quality issues that are happening after implantation.
I don’t necessarily recommend this option for everyone, but it is something to consider as an additional information tool in figuring out the infertility puzzle.
PS- In my experience, the most sensitive test on the market right now is the Target brand (called “UP” I think) two line test. Stay away from the digital tests – they generally are not as sensitive as the two line tests, which seem to be even more sensitive than the + or – tests.