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Question

What should I expect from an IVF pregnancy, and is it different from a normal pregnancy?

Most pregnant women will go through waves of anxiety and even panic. Is my baby alright? What does this stomach pain mean?

But for women who are pregnant through IVF treatment, the worry can be far greater. Every little twinge can be enough for alarm bells to ring loudly in the ears. Although, this is perfectly understandable given the struggle many IVF couples will have endured to become pregnant, there really is no need for concern.

Like all pregnancies, the first twelve weeks are the most crucial in an IVF pregnancy, with the odds of a successful pregnancy increasing each week. After this three month period, over 95% of women will have a positive conclusion to their pregnancy.

An IVF pregnancy is almost identical to a normal pregnancy, although IVF women do tend to experience greater levels of nausea and sickness in the early stages. However, far from being a bad sign, this in fact is a good indication that everything is normal.

IVF pregnancies do have slightly higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. This is because the embryos will have been floating around for slightly longer than with a natural pregnancy. This is why it's vitally important to have sufficient scans to detect such issues.

There are a number of steps you can take during your pregnancy to possibly increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. These include taking a multivitamin, avoiding stress, and getting as much rest as possible. Your doctors may also put you on supplemental progesterone injections as well as a low-dose aspirin to help keep your body in optimum health.

However, notice the use of the word possibly in the paragraph above. Although these steps may be beneficial to an IVF pregnancy, there is no evidence to confirm this belief. Indeed, a recent study has shown that stress does not adversely affect pregnancy. Nevertheless, as these steps are unlikely to do you, or your baby, any harm, there is no reason not to try them.

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