Saturday, June 4, 2011

To POAS or not to POAS

[For those not in the know, POAS = pee on a stick, i.e., take a home pregnancy test (HPT).]

I have never really been one who is fond of early POAS.  From my days on a popular fertility charting website and from reading numerous infertility blogs, I know that many women like to test "early and often."  But after a few early disappointments in the halcyon days of early TTC, before we knew we would have problems, I was turned off POAS.  I hated that sinking feeling in my stomach when I checked the HPT only to see a stark white space where the second line should be.  As a consequence, the only times I've taken HPTs in the past two-and-a-half years have been when I have been directed to do so by a doctor.  (And our RE required a HPT at the end of every treatment cycle and would only draw blood for a beta hCG test if the HPT was positive.)

From others who have cycled there, I have learned that St. Mungo's does your first beta hCG test 11 days after a 5-day blastocyst transfer.  Assuming egg retrieval on June 7 and transfer on June 12, that would make my blood test June 23, which is a Thursday.

I realized recently that our embryo transfer is the week before Father's Day.  That means, in theory, that I could take a HPT on Fathers Day and have some chance of its being positive if our cycle worked.

On the other hand, even if our cycle worked, testing 7dp5dt *could* be a little too early to get a positive.  It would be a bummer to get a negative any day, but particularly on Father's Day.  (And obviously we could get a negative because the cycle was a failure, too.)

In addition to the fact that it would be GREAT to get a BFP on Father's Day, if I am going to test at home before beta, I would want to do it on a weekend morning.  Testing on a workday morning is no good, whether it's a positive or negative.  If it's a negative, I'll be bummed and preoccupied.  If it's a positive, I'll be THRILLED and preoccupied.

So I guess my options are to test on Father's Day or not test at all until beta.  What would you do?

I think if I do POAS on Father's Day, I will keep it to myself unless I get a positive.  No point in bumming MM out, too.  Also, I know he is opposed to early testing and thinks I should just what for the blood test.


  1. Oh, I'd probably do what you're thinking about. I"m not a big fan of early testing, mainly because I'm cheap and I pretty much know the outcome (I'm a realist not a pessimist). But it would be amazing to get your BFP on Father's Day and celebrate it. I say do the test on Father's Day, knowing that it's early, then not test again until the blood test. Of course, you know as well as I know it's much easier said than done. Good luck to you! You're in my thoughts!

  2. I never tested early for any IUIs or IVFs until my first DE IVF last May. I was fairly confide t that the test show a double line, based on the fact that in my mind, everyone that does DE IVF gets a + (boy did I learn a lesson). Yes, my HPT came back with 2 lines at 5dp5dt, but sadly that pg ended.

    Since then I continued to POAS on my later cycle only to discover a - it did help soften the blow and helped me to deal with the phone call.

    I think you need to decide what will be better for you. Can you POAS and not tell MM unless it is positive? Will you be addicted and need to do it everyday (or numerous times throughout the day) with or without a second line? It is such a personal decision and one that only you can make. I will say that the 2ww in a DE IVF was the worst for me.

    Either way, I am sending positive thoughts your way!

  3. @R: no, I definitely won't be addicted and need to test every day. I *despise* testing on weekday mornings, for the reasons I mentioned and others, so there wouldn't be another opportunity for me to test before Thursday's beta.

    Yeah, I always hate the 2WW, and I'm thinking with so much riding on this cycle, this 2WW will be the worst one yet.

  4. I SWORE I wouldn't POAS but I folded like a lawn chair. My only not test on Fathers Day and keep the bad news to yourself. Its nearly impossible to keep to yourself when its a BFN. So my vote is definitely do not POAS on Fathers Day whatsoever. Its a tough about a compromise...POAS on beta day...

  5. I say go for it! What a great present it could make...and if it's negative, it is still early.

  6. I agree not to POAS until right before the beta. I made the mistake of POAS too early my last IVF (which turned out to be a chemical) it it caused me a lot of grief and anxiety I didn't need. (I get addicted and end up taking tests at work, etc) This time, I plan to do a digital one day before the transfer. No lines to obsess over, that way, and not a long wait to the beta. Let's hope it's positive for both of us!

  7. I'd probably wait and test, especially due to the fact that I just got a BFN at 12 DPO, and not a positive until 17 DPO(possibly sooner, but that was when I tested).

    Good luck!

  8. don't do it..... i have gotten a negative by testing too early and a positive on beta day... that negative made the rest of the 2ww completely unbearable!!
    and it really messed with my head. i have now become a girl who waits, waits for beta results. no pee sticks are allowed in my house

  9. I'm with you on the POAS dilemma... I never know what to do :( Thinking of you always xoxo

  10. Great topic. One that I'll have to decide for myself very soon. Last cycle I also tested too early, got many +'s only to get a - the day of beta, and learn it was a chemical. This time around if I do POAS, it will probably be morning of beta to brace myself either way. Good luck!

  11. I am in the "don't test" category. I didn't test at all even after the positive beta. I hate those damn pee sticks and vowed that I wouldn't poas for our 2ww. I am glad I didn't - those things can mess with your head. If you test too early you get that stark white test effect - the one that would send me careening into a very dark place and if you test too early and get a +, then there's the chances of a chemical pregnancy and I endured a couple of those as well again sent careening into a dark dark place. I also liked being PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). It was like this little state of unknown bliss where I could say positive things to myself.

    Obviously, you have to do what is best for you. I hope whenever/however you test you get a bright shiny positive answer!

  12. I love POAS.

    Love it.

    Planning it, tracking it, all of it.

  13. I have/ had a similar dilemma. Today (the 7th) is 8 days past a 5 day transfer. Perfectly possible to test and get a positive (even more possible to test and get a negative). It is my husband's birthday and it was tempting to sneak in an early test with dreams of surprising him with the news. BUT todays answer wouldn't be definitive and I would rather wait until I know the result is THE result. Mind you, there is no way I am going to wait the full 16 days after transfer that my clinic suggests.

  14. I'd have to do it! I can't imagine NOT testing. It's a completely foreign concept to me to NOT test. But, I guess we're all different, so just do what feels right to you.

    But, how many opportunities do you get to possibly get a +HPT on Father's Day? Sure, it may be too early (in which case, you're in no different situation than before) or it may not have worked this time (heaven forbid!), but if everything worked and it's NOT too early, then that will definitely be a memory maker moment to share that news with MM!

    And, since I know you always systematically weigh all the possible outcomes, I think it's ok to bring this up: if it turns out to be a chemical pregnancy, would you really prefer to not have even known you were pregnant at all, or would you like to have at least had a few moments together in your heart. As much as it hurts to lose at any stage of a pregnancy, I've never wished I didn't know or it didn't happen at all. The words of a song come to mind now and in an out of context way, they make sense here. "I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all." I guess that sort of relates to my thoughts on subjecting oneself to information that may end up hurting later.

    But most of all, when the good news finally sinks in all that time later, do you really want to look back and know you might have been able to have that moment on Father's Day but you took a pass instead?

    I hope it doesn't turn out to be too early and I hope you test and get to create that memory.

  15. I know I'm adding my thoughts late, but I would POAS. And I did. Ridiculously early. Like 2dp5dt. But that was the point--I KNEW I'd get a BFN that early and so it actually helped me (yes, I know, weird). I only tested once each morning with FMU using FRERs. I got my first BFP 7dp5dt (probably 6dp5dt too in retrospect, but it was a real squinter). I continued to test once each morning, including beta day (10dp5dt). I was resolved to POAS after my first IVF failed -- for me there was nothing worse than getting the call from the nurse in the middle of the work day and then having to lead a teleconference call right afterwards. I swore I'd be mentally prepared one way or another this time.


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