What You Should Know About Getting Pregnant with IVF

Learn the IVF process for me as a mom with twins.

Right now my twins are happily playing fort after spending the day at Kindergarten.

My boy and girl twins are 5 years old and my life now is not only more noisier, busier and stressful, it’s also more joyous and more loving.

The struggle my husband and I went through to get pregnant is a distant memory for me. The person back then has no similarity to the person I am today – a mom.

But, I’m going back to that time in my life when everything was riding on that positive and then riding on my body keeping my baby(ies).

While pregnancy is one of the most natural things on this Earth, for many of us women, medical intervention is needed to help us conceive.

If you are on this road and considering IVF, I’ll go through what IVF is, the process of going through it from my perspective, and how many rounds I went though to get pregnant.

What is IVF (+ Why That Was Our Only Option)

IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. This occurs when the egg and sperm are combined outside the body. A trained medical professional puts the sperm and high quality eggs in a petri dish and waits for insemination.

Once this occurs you let the egg sit and divide. Typically you have a 5-day transfer where they insert the BEST fertilized egg/s (embryo) into the woman. It’s during those five days the doctor sees how well the egg is dividing.

About a week to 9 days later you can use a highly sensitive pregnancy test to see if the transfer took and IVF worked. Typically, you’ll have extra embryos that weren’t used in the transfer. You have the option of freezing those eggs in case this IVF round doesn’t take (Doing this initially will save you money if you end up doing IVF a second time).

For us we chose to do Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as this has a higher chance of pregnancy.

ICSI occurs when the doctor physically inserts one sperm into one egg. We ended up going this route as it’s beneficial for couples having male infertility issues and moves the process along when it becomes relevant that it’s a challenge for the couple.

Are there other medical interventions to use to get pregnant? Yes there are. As a couple and based on your fertility issue, you can decide which method is best for you.

The IVF Process

Before we thought of intervention, we were starting to get worried that pregnancy was going to be harder than “doing it” consistently and on high-fertile days.

We used the cervical mucus method to chart my high fertility days. But after six months or so, we knew something was wrong. This is when we went to our doctor and then to a specialist.

Once we learned about all the options, we decided to go the IVF route. Even with this, I ended up having difficulty getting pregnant and keeping the pregnancy. The doctors had to do some drastic things so we can get pregnant (I will share later!).

To start the IVF process, the woman takes fertilization medications like Gonal-F, Cetrotide or Lupron. These medications help stimulate the growth of multiple eggs. The doctors want a lot of eggs for the egg retrieval so that they can choose the best eggs for fertilization (better odds).

These fertilization medications are injectables. You inject medicine into your abdomen/belly every day for around 10 days.

Scared of needles? This 100% worked for me

I was terrified of needles. The biggest thought was the pain associated with injecting myself every day for a set time. You can have your husband or partner inject the medicine if you want, but for me, I needed the control!

What helped me was using this numbing cream.

I would dab it on my belly, wait 10 minutes and boom! No feeling and numb at the injection site. Worked like a charm.

Before the transfer you are also taking Prometrium (you insert capsules into your vagina).

The doctor monitors you with blood work and a day or two after injections are done, you have your egg retrieval. You are put under and it’s a painless procedure.

The rest is in the doctors hands. They monitor the egg/embryo growth and when it’s time for transfer, they pick the best embryo(s).

How Many IVF Rounds I Went Through to Get Pregnant

When I was going through IVF, I used a support network with a forum to connect with other IVF couples and to chart my journey through IVF.

We ended up doing three ICSI rounds and one frozen embryo round to get pregnant with our twins.

The first round the doctors probably did a standard protocol with medications and retrieval. I ended up only growing 8 eggs and that only resulted in two BB embryos. Here is how embryos are charted:

Inner Cell Mass Quality

A – many cells that are tightly packed

B – Several cells that are loosely grouped

C – very few cells

Trophectoderm Quality

A – many cells that form a cohesive layer

B – Few cells that form a loose epithelium

C – very few large cells

So the two eggs I had first transferred via ICSI were BB. This did not result in a pregnancy.

In the second round, they switched my fertilization medication, which resulted in more eggs – 14. Of those, 2 eggs were transferred and I was able to freeze two embryos.

This round, the egg quality was better: AB, B+ (not sure what the + indicated).

I was fortunate that this resulted in a pregnancy, but I ended up losing our precious baby at 7w6d.

This was hard for us. At this point it was hard for us to move on. Not only is this an expensive journey, the thought of going through another round with no success was difficult to think of.

But, after some time we both knew we had to keep going since we both desperately wanted children. So, four months later I tried again. Since we had frozen embryos, we decided to use those, but it did not result in a pregnancy.

At this time the doctor sat us down and told us our options.

He had other couples that had a similar profile as us and he did some aggressive things for them and most ended up having children.

The doctor first wanted to see if I had recurrent pregnancy loss even though I only had one miscarriage. The fact that the doctor is putting eggs in me should have a higher percent of taking, but for some reason my body wasn’t holding on to those embryos.

The first aggressive thing the doctor did for me was a uterine lining biopsy. The doctor essentially scraped my uterus to stimulate blood growth and “stir” things up.

This hurt!

The fertilization medication was the same as my previous ICSI round and it resulted in 13 eggs.

The next aggressive thing the doctor did was insert 3 embryos instead of two. So by doing this, it could have resulted in triplets. We had to think about this option when the doctor suggested it. In the end we believed in the doctor that this was our best option.

I had an AB, BB and one morula embryo.

This resulted in a BFP (big fat positive) and eventually lead to the birth of my twins!

I also stayed on daily hormone medication for the first three-six months.

But, I was extremely worried! The last time I was pregnant I lost my baby. I was nervous to walk, nervous to shower and nervous to sleep. But with IVF, you are monitored closely and I knew early on that my babies were growing!

In hindsight, I had good reason to be worried. At about 10 weeks I had some super scary times but everything held on until I ended up on bedrest at 22 weeks! But that’s another story for another day.

While the doctor did new things to help me get pregnant, I also did different things to get my body fertile and ready for pregnancy.

Getting Your Body Ready for Fertility and IVF

Between IVF rounds I researched diets to increase fertility and how to get your body ready for pregnancy. While you don’t need a clean diet to get pregnant, it doesn’t hurt eh?

The first thing I did was start to eat a low-carb Keto diet.

I wasn’t overweight, but I wanted to lose weight to have the best chances of pregnancy.

By the third IVF round + 1 frozen embryo transfer round I started using these things (which helped me get pregnant):

What I Used to Get Pregnant

Most of these products I started taking around 4 months prior to trying to get pregnant (i.e another IVF round).

1. FertilAid for Men


This is more than just a prenatal vitamin – it has powerful ingredients to enhance fertility. I took the supplement for women and my husband took the one for men.

2. QCO10

This is best for older women, but since I wasn’t producing AA eggs, I decided to supplement with QCO10. My husband also took this supplement as well to help with enhancing his sperm!

3. Benadryl

I started taking Benadryl one day after the egg transfer and until I took a pregnancy test. There isn’t a lot of conclusive evidence that this helps with getting pregnant, but I decided to try it. I do have seasonal allergies so maybe those with seasonal allergies could benefit from taking Benadryl prior to ovulation.

4. Rooibos Tea


I started drinking more tea – specifically Rooibos tea – to help with fertilization. I gave up on coffee early on when trying to conceive and switched to tea.

The Best Decision Ever

Now, five years later, I have two healthy twins. They are flourishing and thriving and I couldn’t be happier!

If you are considering IVF, I’m here to support you! You are not alone!

Please pin me!

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26 Comments

Hi Elna, I had my first IVF cycle in March and of the 10 eggs they retrieved only one made it to day 2 post transfer – but I did get pregnant and it resulted in an identical twin pregnancy. Saw their hearts beat at 7 weeks but unfortunately had to have a d&c at 10 weeks, their hearts stopped beating. I still feel hopeful though for our next round (and am secretely hoping it will work naturally before that since their is no medical reason we are not getting pregnant naturally.Reply to Evelyn
Hi Evelyn, I’m so so so sorry for your loss. Reading this brought me back to that time I lost my first pregnancy. It is a scary time for sure but keep persevering. You will have your time and you will get pregnant and your body will keep that baby or babies alive! I will pray for you!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna… Thanks for sharing those golden moments and hard experiences. I am also on my third ivf cycle, this time i got positive result and i am now 6week pregnant. 😄. Tomorrow i am having my first ultra sound. Hoping for god grace and everything should be good. I wanted to ask till 5th week i am feeling metalic taste but now its gone.. Only in the morning i feel it little bit. It is normal? Can i be sure that im still having my babys without symptoms… Thanks…Reply to Namrata
Hi Namrata, That’s great to hear! Not sure about your metalic taste. I don’t remember if I had that. Make sure to tell your doc about that!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, reading your article has helped me feel more motivated to keep trying! So thank you! My husband and I completed our first round of ICSI IVF which resulted in a negative pregnancy test 2 weeks ago. It was devastating but we are going to try again in a few months. I have found that it is so hard to pick yourself up and keep pushing forward but your story is very inspiring and it was lovely to read that you got your happy ending.Reply to Amber
Hi Amber, Thanks for stopping by! Sorry about your BFN. This happened to us too so keep the faith. It WILL happen for you and your husband!Reply to Elna
Hi,Elna Thanks for your detail explanation process, it give me mentally support. Let’s hope for the best.Reply to Munazza
Hi , I have PCOS and had 2 miscarriages through IUI. Doctor suggested IVF and post extraction 17 Good quality egg as of which I got 1 AA and 1 AB via blastocyst. I was planning for transfer this cycle.Endometrium lining is good but blood flow is low which might postpone the transfer to next cycle. Can you please suggest what to do in this case?Reply to Ruchi
Hi Ruchi, Not sure as I’m not a doctor. I know my doctor “scraped my uterus” to stimulate blood flow so maybe offer that suggestion?Reply to Elna
I don’t have fertility issues but I am trying to be a gestational surrogate. I have just started Lupron a few days ago. Things are so far so good but I am terrified about the progesterone injections, they seem so painful. I need some words of encouragement! I have a few weeks to go before starting but I am nervous.Reply to CC
Hang in there! You can do it! I used a numbing cream and that worked 100% for pain. Check out the link in the post for the cream I used!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna,I just had my IVF last month and got pregnant but don’t know why the HCG level called suddenly from 386 to 79 and it all got over.I desperately want to have a kid but very weak from my mind and heart now.When should I start my second IVF round and what should I take care now.My weight is less so is it one of the reason of failure.Reply to Sandy
Hi Sandy, It’s up to you when you want to start again. After my first failed attempt I did a frozen embryo transfer and when that didn’t take, I did an IVF. So maybe decide if frozen is an option or to go straight to IVF.Reply to Elna
Thanks for sharing your journey, Elna. My husband and I are starting IVF with ICSI next month. Can you tell me about the numbing cream? The link isn’t working for me and I am EXTREMELY afraid of needles.Reply to Amanda
Hi Amanda, That’s too bad. I updated the link to the right cream! Thanks for letting me know and congrats on starting IVF/ICSI!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I just linked over here, and I read as far as I could (for a man that doesn’t like needles & such). I’m hoping the photo at the top of the page are your twins: if so, you have two of the most amazingly healthy babies I have seen: Awesome! As I call my children, and I’m sure that you will also agree that your twins are ‘Lovable Blessings’ and that you and your husband did really good (with the assistance of doctors). Amazing… all that you went through, and I know that you know, That they were worth it!Reply to George
Hi George! As a man thanks for supporting this post! And yes the twins on top of my photo are my twins when they were babies! Thanks so much for stopping over.Reply to Elna
I want to know about your whole journey of ivf twins.Reply to Rafia
Elna, your story is inspiring. My husband and I have been trying for 10 years now. I was about to give up until I read how determined you were and it inspired me to stay positive. I hope one day I have my own family. Whether it be one or three babies at a time. 😄 Congratulations on your beautiful twins. ❤️Reply to KC
KC! *hugs* This is a tough journey for sure. I hope you are connecting on IVF forums or TTC forums. I will pray for you and your soon-to-be-family!Reply to Elna
Hello there..!! This is Tanu P Kaur… Iam trying this IV F process since 5years n I conceived on my 4th IVF Got twins also but unfortunately I started bleeding since 4th month n ended with miscarriage d day I finished my 6th month…I saw both my babies coming out n trust me this was the most painful moment till now… After my miscarriage I tried again after 18moths but unfortunately it was again a failure…now this is going to b my 6th IVF (Embryo Transfer)in d month of August 2019 And I really hope to get worked out this time…if u can help me I would b heartily thankful to u…Reply to Tanu
Hi Tanu, I’m sorry for the hard time you are having with your IVF. My IVF journey was hard too with failed IVFs too. Your time WILL come! I’ll pray for you!Reply to Elna
Thanks for these article indeed i have learnt at alot. I do follow in the same category but i have the most complicated one.Reply to winnie
Hi Winnie! You’re welcome! The IVF journey is a scary one for sure! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, my husband and I are due to start IVF this month. We can’t afford to do it privately and are therefore doing it through the fertility clinic at a government hospital, well that’s what we call state hospitals in South Africa. I am incredibly nervous and anxious as I’m not entirely sure what to expect. You detailed explanation of the process has given me a little insight on the whole process and I can now mentally start preparing myself. Thank you for your courage and for sharing your story. Hopefully I too will be able encourage others with my success story. I was unaware that there a few forums, any chance you are able to share some links please. We are keeping everything low key and our parents ‘s are supportive but it would be great to be able to connect with others going through the same experience. Once again thankReply to Janine
Hi Janine I suggest you find some FB groups for IVF couples or forums online. I used IVF.ca so you could try that? Praying for you!Reply to Elna