Every pregnancy is unique in terms of symptoms and emotions, whether it is result of normal, natural conception or science has played a role in initiating it. Women who have undergone infertility treatment and have conceived through IVF have an entirely different story to narrate, though there are certain myths and misconceptions which need to be cleared in this regard.
Whether or not IVF pregnancy is different from a natural one is a subjective question; while women who have been under constant physical, emotional and financial pressures during IVF would find it a very tough thing to go through, doctors might actually manifest them to be at par with a natural pregnancy.
IVF Pregnancy: The Myths
Since IVF is a complicated procedure and stakes are always high for the patients, the fear of failure makes them believe that their pregnancies are precious and fall in high risk category. The viewpoint is not confined only to the patients; in fact, some specialists would actually encourage this thought process by recommending precautions such as bed rest and a battery of diagnostic tests for the patients.
Sometimes, patients are coaxed into taking useless tests and scans for ensuring the success of the IVF pregnancy and they feel that all these are actually justified. Unfortunately, too may tests can cause emotional as well as financial stress, which can end up bringing complications for the patients and many of them would opt for C-Sections rather than normal vaginal deliveries and that too, for no valid reason at all.
Another fear that has been reported by a number of IVF patients is that they consider IVF pregnancy an unnatural or artificial one, with its lab-cultured embryos which would require extra care in handling. Most unbelievably even amusingly, some patients have shared their fears that the embryo would succumb to gravity and fall out of the uterus when the patient would stand up after the embryo transfer. Many would fall prey to this baseless phobia and spend weeks in bed to ensure that the embryo would be secure inside its home, till the pregnancy is confirmed.
IVF Pregnancy: The Reality
Scientifically, a baby conceived in the bedroom is no different from the one cultured in a lab dish. As soon as the embryo makes its way into the uterus, it follows a normal pattern, whether it comes from the fallopian tube or a test tube. And when it gets implanted therein, the pregnancy behaves and grows just like a natural one. Additionally, the patients should not believe that Cesarean delivery is the only option for them after IVF because vaginal delivery is equally safe, provided there are no other complications involved.
The differences between natural and IVF pregnancy are not well defined but there is a very thin line with relation to the timing of the symptoms. Telltale signs such breast tenderness, food aversions and mood swings could set in as early as the first two weeks of IVF pregnancy. Probably, the reason would be that the patient knows that she is undergoing treatment and chances of conceiving are high; this makes her more receptive to noticing any changes, even very minor ones, in her body.
There is no need to take bed rest or any extra precautions as nothing can change the fate of the embryo; it will harbor itself in the uterus is it is meant to be otherwise not. In fact, these do’s and don’ts would actually cause stress, which could diminish the chances of IVF success. In fact, a responsible fertility clinic would educate the patients to overcome these fears and enjoy their pregnancy normally, whether it is natural or through IVF treatment.
A pregnancy itself is a big reason to celebrate and it makes no difference in the excitement levels of the would-be parents if it has been conceived naturally and effortlessly. However, becoming pregnant through IVF is a big achievement and it is but natural to be scared and nervous, particularly for those with a history of miscarriages.
Talking to your fertility specialist and a counselor can be a good way to deal with these emotions. Also, a pregnant woman should take some general precautions for having a healthy pregnancy. These include abstaining from smoking and alcohol, eating healthy and leading a stress-free lifestyle. And most of all, be happy and enjoy the moments that your pregnancy brings.