Learn more about pregnancy screening after IVF
The Fertility Center of Las Vegas provides compassionate care and careful monitoring for each patient. After becoming so familiar with our team, it can be stressful to move from the care of our Las Vegas fertility center to an OB/GYN 10 weeks after conceiving. During this time, many patients have questions. One such question is whether they or their gestational carrier should undergo pregnancy screening tests and procedures after IVF.
Typically, our IVF patients conceive using a combination of IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In addition to the main ultrasound that all pregnant patients receive during their second trimester, patients who underwent IVF with ICSI will have at least one additional ultrasound in the second trimester. This additional ultrasound includes a fetal echocardiogram or fetal ECHO, which is a special ultrasound that looks closely at the baby’s heart to make sure there are no obvious heart defects.
Exploring other types of pregnancy screening after IVF
Many pregnancies at our Las Vegas fertility center are a result of genetically screened embryos using preimplantation genetic testing or “PGT”. This test is a very accurate way to ensure that an embryo is chromosomally normal. However, it cannot guarantee that the pregnancy will be completely normal and healthy. Other problems with the embryo and placenta can occur, so the clinical team at our Las Vegas fertility center recommends that patients consider the following forms of pregnancy screening after IVF.
- Cell-free fetal DNA test. This blood test occurs in the first trimester. It looks for specific problems in chromosomes 13, 18, 21 and the sex chromosomes. It is routinely recommended for women over age 35 who used their own eggs during the IVF process.
- Blood testing and nuchal translucency. Doctors recommend a combination of a blood test and an ultrasound to measure the nuchal translucency (the thickness of the fetal neck). This typically occurs near the end of the first trimester. If this test is normal, it may alter the recommended second trimester screening tests. If it is abnormal, the next step is often to do more pregnancy screening after IVF during the second trimester, which again consists of a blood test for the woman.
These tests are examples of pregnancy screening that may be recommended by your OBGYN physician. They cannot definitively diagnose a problem with the growing baby, but they can provide you and your doctor with more information.
What do you need to know about diagnostic testing during pregnancy?
If your OB/GYN suspects that there is a problem with the pregnancy, he or she may offer a test to diagnose a specific issue. These tests may include a biopsy of the placenta tissue or a biopsy of the amniotic fluid in the first or second trimester. It is very rare that these tests are necessary, but they can be useful in some cases.
Contact our Las Vegas fertility center to learn more about pregnancy screening after IVF and how you can maximize your odds of having a healthy baby.