Following the egg retrieval, the hormone progesterone is required to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation.
Progesterone is naturally produced from the ovary following ovulation. Various forms of natural progesterone will be administered following the egg retrieval. The most common route of administration is that by intramuscular injection. Other medications including, but not limited to, estrogen will also be given in the luteal phase of the cycle.
The pregnancy test, measurement of the beta-HCG hormone, will be scheduled on a given day. If this is positive, a repeat pregnancy test will be performed two to three days later. The beta-HCG hormone level will be followed until it is high enough to schedule a transvaginal pregnancy ultrasound. During the early part of your pregnancy, you will be asked to continue with the progesterone and estrogen injections. You may also be asked to see a perinatologist (an obstetrician who deals with high risk pregnancy) for a special ultrasound to assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.