Pregnancy Test after Frozen Embryo Transfer: How Soon Can I Test?

By Dr. Kalan on January 22, 2020


A medical vial labeled “Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)”IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a fertility treatment that has helped many people realize their dreams of having children.

When trying to conceive with IVF, Drs. Marc Kalan and Nurit Winkler understand that many women would love to find out if they're pregnant at the time of embryo transfer. Although it would be great if that were an option, the reality is patients must wait about two weeks to take a pregnancy test after frozen embryo transfer.

Servicing Encino, CA, and the surrounding Bakersfield and Los Angeles areas, Drs. Kalan and Winkler explain why it's important to wait to take a pregnancy test during patient consultations. For more information, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

What Do Pregnancy Tests Detect?

Home pregnancy tests detect pregnancy by checking for a certain hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in the urine.

The hCG hormone is naturally released once a fertilized egg implants within the uterus. In other words, at the time of pregnancy.

Why Wait to Take a Pregnancy Test after Frozen Embryo Transfer?

Many women who have undergone frozen embryo transfer will want to test for pregnancy as soon as possible, but have probably heard that they should wait two weeks after transfer. In order to understand why women are told to wait to test after embryo transfer, we first need to consider non-frozen embryo transfer.

  • Fresh embryo transfer: In fresh, or non-frozen, embryo transfer, there is a risk of getting a false positive pregnancy test if the test is taken too early. This is because hCG levels are often elevated from medications used to harvest eggs for IVF treatment. Because of this, women who undergo fresh embryo transfer are advised to wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test.
  • Frozen embryo transfer: Frozen embryo transfer is a bit different from fresh embryo transfer. Eggs are harvested, sometimes years before embryo transfer occurs. Women who undergo frozen embryo transfer are generally not given hCG medications. As a result, elevated hCG levels seen after a frozen embryo transfer are generally a good indication of pregnancy.

Waiting to Test Helps Avoid Inaccurate Pregnancy Tests

If hCG levels are generally not falsely elevated from IVF medications, why wait to take a pregnancy test after frozen embryo transfer?

Embryo implantation can take several days after frozen embryo transfer. Testing immediately after transfer may result in a negative test, when in fact the embryo hasn't implanted yet. Waiting to test can help avoid a false negative and enduring the disappointment that can bring.

Another important thing to note is that home pregnancy tests are not always sensitive enough to detect low levels of hGC in the urine during the early days of pregnancy. Generally, by two weeks, hCG levels are high enough to detect.

Learn More about Frozen Embryo Transfer

If you have questions about testing for pregnancy after frozen embryo transfer or would like to learn more about IVF, please call (818) 208-5481 to schedule a consultation at Los Angeles Reproductive Center.

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