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Why I Like to Engage in Urinary Sports

To pee or not to pee pre-beta. I mean, on one hand, it’s a waste of either $17 for the peestick (unless you’ve gotten the cheapie Internet sticks) or $20 for your copay or some random amount for blood work if you have no insurance coverage. If you’re pregnant, you don’t think twice about this waste of money to run a test after you know the answer, mostly because this second test not only answers yes or no, but provides you with more information. But if you’re not pregnant, it smarts to know that you could have purchased a 15-minute seated massage for the cost of having your heart broken a second time. I mean, truly, the negative pee stick is the heart breaker. The beta is simply the pair of steel-toed boots kicking the shit out of your heart after it has been already ripped still-beating from your chest.

Not to be dramatic, or anything.

I do pee pre-beta and this is why. The rest of the cycle is so different from anything in the non-infertile world, from the daily injections to the fact that I sometimes have seven different people looking at my hoohaahooterus and none of them are my husband. But learning that I’m pregnant when it actually does work–that’s the one thing I still can control. I can still pee on a stick like every other woman in the world (except for the ones who live in peestickless areas), even if I know that the results of a pee stick are at best meaningless (I mean, it only tells you hCG is there, it doesn’t tell you how much or if it’s doubling or any of those things) and at worst deceptive. Sometimes pee sticks lead me to believe that other things are going to happen–namely, a pregnancy–but that is a post for another day.

I am also terrible at waiting. Sometimes, Josh attempts to avoid talking about my feelings. He will try to put it off by telling me that we will have the discussion “when he gets home.” For whatever reason, he does not like it when I call him at work to talk about my feelings if my feelings involve something he has or hasn’t done. I then spend the entirety of the afternoon waiting to talk about my feelings which means that I obsess about them at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m…all the way to 8 p.m. when he arrives home and I am about to burst from the anxiety. Knowing that we’re going to discuss it in the future doesn’t allay my need for now. To know right now how things are going to be resolved. I am a big fan of now and not such a fan of later.

Therefore, even if I know that my beta will give me more information and better information later–just as Josh will give my feelings their full attention if I just wait for later–I sometimes would rather just know now. Or have that discussion now. Even if those results or that discussion do not yield the answers I wish to hear. Sometimes the anticipation and waiting are worse than the knowledge. Especially when waiting doesn’t actually yield a different result–just a delayed result.

Which is just a very long way of not only musing about peeing on sticks, but my admittance as I enter into treatments again this week that I will be peeing on sticks pre-beta. So Josh should go stock up on them during his next Costco run (he does the Costco runs–I’m too scattered to do well in a store that is that large and that full). I have not figured out yet how to handle the positive and negative discussion that will results from peeing on said sticks. Real people from the real world really read this real blog. And I would love to be able to tell them prior to reading it along with everyone else. I am still trying to figure out the logistics. Stay tuned.

Your thoughts–do you pee pre-beta? Why or why not?

Oh–and I added a poll on the sidebar. Be a doll and answer it for me. The “why” behind the question is coming soon, I promise.


I’m not saying the negatives are easy to see. But if I’m going to hear a negative over the phone, I’d rather learn it myself in the privacy of the early morning pee. It’s interesting how everyone has a different way of getting through the sting.


1 Anonymous { 12.17.07 at 7:06 pm }

Regarding the poll – by “I” do you mean do them at home vs. at the clinic? My husband is in the medical field, so he does the vast majority of my shots for me, but we do them in the privacy of our own home. I know how to and do, but prefer if he does them, as he actually knows what he’s doing!

2 The Town Criers { 12.17.07 at 7:08 pm }

Oh–I hadn’t thought of that. I meant at home. The lay person who has learned how to either self-inject or chooses to have someone else do the injection.

Ooooh, I wish I had a doctor in the house who could give them quickly and confidently!

3 infertility just sucks { 12.17.07 at 7:17 pm }

I don’t test. I’m a bit of a pessimist but every day that I wait it out is another day that I can cling to my dream.

Hope is still alive as long as I don’t POAS. And, I figure that if I’m pregnant I’ll find out soon enough. I’ve been disappointed too many times – seeing a single pink line often pushes me over the edge.

I’d rather cling to what sanity I’ve got and save the breakdown for the “official” word.

4 C { 12.17.07 at 7:21 pm }

I never really had the to-pre-pee-or-not-to-pre-pee dilemma… my RE only did the beta if AF was late. Most of the time, I would wait for AF to come instead of POAS. Something about seeing that negative test was worse than greeting nasty old AF. I did POAS the month of my BFP, though… just to prove to a friend that I absolutely was NOT pregnant. Go figure.

Oh, and I did my own sub-q injections, but I had DH do the IM ones.

5 Soupy { 12.17.07 at 7:40 pm }

Oh I always pee pre-beta- I’m with you, if it’s negative, I want time to grieve in the privacy of my own home where I can sob until the cows come home. Waiting on a phone call is the last thing I want to HAVE to do – and when I got my first + pee stick w/our angel girl, I was literally in shell shock and I had to have a million other people reassure me it was indeed, positive – I was actually told “you’d have to be Stevie Fucking Wonder to not see that ++”, but yet, I didn’t know if I shoudl believe it.
So yes, I do the pre-pee!

and no, I cannot stand needles, so Cj does all my shots!

6 Sunny { 12.17.07 at 7:49 pm }

I really struggle with this. I go back and forth and usually lay it to the fate of “if there is a test lost under the sink I will test.”

None of it is easy. I am not sure I like the thought of having a bfn, going to work and trying to be okay about it all. I would rather get the call and let voice mail catch it. I can decide when and where I will hear my news. Last time was outside my trailer with my kids reading inside. MAN it was hard to go back in and not let the kids know what was going on. (by the way, I am a teacher, so trailer is my classroom. HA!)

7 The Dunn Family { 12.17.07 at 8:35 pm }

I didn’t test. And strangely enough, it never really crossed my mind. I didn’t find this community until after my BFP, so I didn’t realize everyone was running around peeing on sticks! I just figured I would wait till the drs office. I guess I just wanted to hold onto the hope as long as possible.

8 Hekateris { 12.17.07 at 8:40 pm }

I poas pre-beta. Well, I ended up getting a beta later that day anyway, but the pee stick was negative. The beta was not. The second pee stick, two weeks later, was also negative.
Which pretty much turned me off of pee sticks for like, ever.

But, y’know, now that I’m planning on a FET cycle this time next year…

9 Jen { 12.17.07 at 8:51 pm }

I eventually stopped with the sticks because I couldn’t stand wasting all that money to see negatives. When I got my only positive, I only took it because I had almost thrown up in my husband’s chicken noodle soup the night before.

10 From Here To Maternity { 12.17.07 at 8:56 pm }

I test before because I usually get the beta results from work. That way I have a lot of the sulking out of the way.

11 lifefromhere { 12.17.07 at 9:06 pm }

oh I’ve gone both ways on this, and now debating what I’ll do after my transfer on sat. as you said, sometimes the anticipation is worse than the knowing, and I’d rather know in the privacy of my own bathroom if I need a good cry rather than be shocked by the sweet nurse who feels badly (I hate feeling pitied). on the other hand, if it’s positive, I want to know asap! problem is, my hub and I disagree on this. he opposes poas’ing early and doesn’t see why I would want that kick in the gut… as long as it’s not too early, I may poas in private, as I’ve done before. is that sad? ~luna

12 Fertilize Me { 12.17.07 at 9:28 pm }

I don’t test. I have developed a phobia for pee sticks. If you have a $1 store near you, you can buy them there for $1. CHEAPY CHEAPY sticks

13 Jess { 12.17.07 at 9:59 pm }

I always always always poas pre beta. I don’t want to hear bad news from a stranger on the phone. I want to go in with my eyes open so my heart doesn’t break publicly or rather, semi-publicly.

Though I don’t believe I’ve ever cried at a negative beta…once I was in treatments I was too far into poas-fun to cry about it…but it does have the potential, no?

I like to go in knowing already, I guess. And if I poas and it is positive, then it’s just the wait for that to see what’s up. Which has alwaus been torture for me. With Ethan I was sure, so sure that things would be bad the second beta. I waited at home and Travis called me when the lab faxed him the results. I didn’t believe him when he told me it was good news.

In the end, I sort of want my privacy either way, I guess.

14 aspiring baker { 12.17.07 at 10:19 pm }

I’m with Jess — I don’t want to hear bad news from a nurse on the phone. I want to be prepared for whatever’s coming, and if I’m going to cope with bad news, I’d rather begin doing so in the privacy of my bathroom than the non-privacy of my cubicle.

15 Geohde { 12.17.07 at 10:29 pm }

I pee pre-beta. I like to get the tears over with in private. Plus I just itch to knowand I never could wait for many things…


16 Bea { 12.17.07 at 10:58 pm }

I started peesticking towards the end, after I realised that they weren’t the only thing that wasn’t reassuring. So, why not consume even more unreassuring resources? I was on progesterone. It’s not logical.

Really, I’m in the “whatever makes it easier” camp.


17 Tigger { 12.18.07 at 12:34 am }

I am not a fan of the peesticks. They never give me the answer I want, and they cost too damn much. Then again, I’ve also only had one beta. They made me take the test, so I would know when the HcG was out of my system. 🙁

I’ve also been known to swear that I will never test. I will know that I am pregnant when my water breaks…and even then, I might not believe it. 🙂

18 Nearlydawn { 12.18.07 at 1:38 am }

I found that the pre-pee allowed me to have some idea of what to expect from the beta. I felt I would be fine being “pleasantly surprised” by a positive beta, but I didn’t like the idea of getting the dreaded BFN beta call at work and being unable to sufficiently greive. The ability to pre-beta POAS is kinda like a safety release valve for me, I guess. 🙂

19 Artblog { 12.18.07 at 2:08 am }

I always peed the day before a beta, i liked to cry in private and not in the street carrying a piece of paper with the results! I never want to do that again.

However, from experience I never again peed on sticks like a mad woman too early before a beta!

Good luck my dear,


20 Stacie { 12.18.07 at 4:09 am }

I am a pee sticker-er. I never did do well with surprises. I got so antsy during the tww, I started to test as early as 9dpo and continued until the beta.

21 Ms. Infertile { 12.18.07 at 6:05 am }

I absolutely pee pre-beta. When I first started fertility treatemtns I used to religiously go to the beta and wait for the results. Negative ater negative. Then it was after the first IVF cycle, which I naively believed would work, and I got that phone call that i started using pee sticks.
I do always wait until after AF would be due, which saves me a lot of money, because my cycles are so darn predictable. Usually she shows before I even have to buy a stick.

22 Natalie { 12.18.07 at 6:17 am }

I am firmly in the camp of “pee early, pee frequently”. Why? because the time I didn’t (I waited until beta day to pee) I got my hopes up. And I was crushed. I find that if I keep seeing negatives every day it keeps my expectations low and kind of lets me down piece by piece instead of all at once.

And I don’t want to hear the horrible news from someone on the phone. I’d rather be able to process it on my own and not have to think of a response. It was much easier for me to say “Yeah, I know” than “What? Are you kidding me? Are you sure?? %#!%^%!%!”

23 ms. c { 12.18.07 at 6:18 am }

I am a terrible wait-er, I don’t like surprises, and I like to have control of when I will exhibit my feelings.
All three of these aspects of my personality lead me to pee on a (single) stick at 13-14dpo.
I much prefer to know first thing in the morning (on my schedule) about a negative, at a time when I can crawl back into bed and have a few minutes to wallow with my husband.
And, my use of a single stick refers to when I get a negative. I refuse to waste one ounce of money more on the cycle. I have to admit the first time I ever saw a positive, I couldn’t wait til the next morning to test again (call it an investment in my child’s future.)
Wishing you all the best with you treatments, Mel. And I hope you find a way to let us all know when the good news comes…

24 Samantha { 12.18.07 at 7:46 am }

I never POAS until I started reading blogs and realized you could get an answer sooner than the beta. Like the Dunn Family, it hadn’t really crossed my mind (call me naive, I guess). Is it helpful? Probably not. I never really believe a negative, and never got a positive. The only time I could have gotten a positive was with my chemical pregnancy, and that was before I started POAS’ing. If I do more treatments, I may just try to hold out, even though I hate the wait.

25 Dianne/Flutter { 12.18.07 at 8:55 am }

Wishing you much luck. And I’m a pre-beta kinda of girl. Granted it was because I didn’t want to cry in front of the nurses.

26 es { 12.18.07 at 9:01 am }

I did not pee pre-beta. I’m the opposite of you- I’m in the camp of “ignorance is bliss” and would push off knowing until I absolutely have to. (Also, like your husband- I frequently tell my husband that we’ll discuss things when he gets home. If I can’t make a decision about something, I push it off and push it off as far as I could.)

27 Barb { 12.18.07 at 9:41 am }

I do pee pre-beta for every single reason you listed. In addition to that, it’s easier for me to take it if I’m the one to give myself the bad news. You know? Or even the good news. I don’t like hearing it for the first time from the nurse. I’m more in control if I’ve already done it.

And I hear ya on Costco! I am soooo the same way! I’m such a scattered girl! DH tried to take me to IKEA and do the WHOLE DAMN STORE. I was like.. AAAARRRRRRRGH! haha

28 chicklet { 12.18.07 at 10:09 am }

You know how I feel about it but to explain more why I’m not peeing pre-beta this round, it’s that I don’t think the stick is that useful. I’m going to see a negative and not want to believe it, so then I’m going to want the beta over with to just know for sure, and the few days that were slow anyway, become slower. If it’s positive, well, we’ll count those chickens when they hatch.

29 Frank N. Beans { 12.18.07 at 10:12 am }

Mrs. Beans did not pre-pee and the nurse who called us with the beta results was shocked that we didn’t already know. I should also point out that after we received the positive beta, we still went out and bought a pregnancy test just to prove that we could get two lines on one of those goddam things. We even took a picture of it!

30 serenity { 12.18.07 at 10:24 am }

I’ve done both with our cycles – for our FETs I POAS, but for our two fresh transfers I did not.

After three snow white BFNs, I decided I’d never pee pre-beta again. Mostly because after so many years and failed cycles, I LIKED having a little bit of hope.

And… frankly… I am too chicken to see the white window of the pee stick. It would have killed me – moreso than the call from my clinic.

So I avoid POAS at all costs. Because I’d rather cling to the shreds of hope and stay sane for as long as I can.

31 andrea_jennine { 12.18.07 at 10:25 am }

I pee pre-beta (if I haven’t already started my period pre-beta, which has happened too many times), mainly so that my husband and I can get the results together rather than me hearing them solo over the phone and passing them on to him.

32 littleangelkisses { 12.18.07 at 10:33 am }

I haven’t actually had to have a beta…yet.

But I do subscribe to the “don’t pee until at least 14 dpo” camp. I’ts a protection thing for me. I’ve seen too many people crushed by faint lines at 9dpo that then are stark white at 14dpo.

I have no idea how I’ll handle this after the transfer next month. I will still have to drive an hour to do the beta. That drive would be awfully long knowing the results already.

As for shots? Up until now, I’ve done them all myself. I’ll let DH give me the PIO shots, but frankly I’m SCARED TO DEATH to do so! SCARED TO DEATH I tell you!

33 In and Out of Luck { 12.18.07 at 10:59 am }

I did poas this last time because the previous time of getting a negative over the phone (from a cheerful-sounding young guy – “yup! it’s negative!” ) was something I never want to repeat. Of course, there was the time that I poas a month after ovulation and it was negative – a false negative.

34 Anonymous { 12.18.07 at 11:56 am }

It’s funny, I POAS pretty much every cycle, except when we are in tx. (I bought like 200 cheapie sticks from the internet so at least it isn’t a ton of $$). I found that (when not in tx) I would just hope so hard for that +ve, that AF would be late – days late – and as soon as I peed, she’s how up the next day. So I started doing a “evil pee test” around day 28-30 (my cycle is quite regular) to get it over with and allow AF to come. Since I don’t have any legitimate expectations it seems to hurt less.

When in tx I figured we’d know one way or another so I didn’t need to call. The one +ve we got in tx, I had my hubby call in for the results so I didn’t find out until the end of my work day. I just couldn’t handle hearing it at work, if it was -ve.

Like the Beans family, I then POAS to take a picture of it and prove that double lines really did exist in there.

At this time hubby and I are preventing pgcy but I still POAS when AF is due – even though there’s basically no chance of being pg – just so that AF can come and no spark of anticipation can enter. Illogical, twisted, whatever … those are the scars of IF for you.

~ 4 years IF
tx for 1 year
boy 3 y.o. girl 18 mnths

35 SarahSews { 12.18.07 at 11:58 am }

I rarely POAS, pre-beta or not. No need really. I’m a spotter so the first year we TTC on our own, I always had fair warning. The year we were in treatment, I tested pre-beta twice and gave it up for good (one was negative and one was barely positive as it was a chemical and that was just terrible). I would go the lab on my way home at night, and have the nurse leave the results on our home machine the next day, which we’d listen to together once we were safely home. I didn’t trust pee sticks — only betas as they never lied.

The year after treatment, I kept track of my cycles loosely and was late a couple of times but didn’t test until I was really late. Both times I was pg. After the pee sticks gave me good news, I would beg for a beta.

As for shots, I had to answer that someone else always gives them to me but it isn’t by choice. I’d rather do them myself but DH insisted on “helping” by doing them. It made him feel like he was doing something rather than just standing by watching and I couldn’t take that away from him.

36 Anonymous { 12.18.07 at 11:59 am }

Oh and I wanted to say you have a cheering section from Ontario (Canada). Sending you lots of good energy, prayers, positive thoughts, whatever. I’ll be with you in spirit at the RE’s.

AFter all, you’ve been in the Moan & Wail (Globe and Mail), it’s the least I can do for an honourary Canuck 😉


37 Tracy { 12.18.07 at 2:12 pm }

I haven’t tested in the past. Our RE told us at one appointment that HPTs were discouraged with IVF because they can sometimes pick up HCG from the trigger shot. So my husband has it in his head that they don’t work.

But, this time we’re doing donor eggs, so no HCG shot for me! So, I’m planning to start POAS around 10DPO. I figure I’m going to be anxious either way; why not? I like what you said: “Especially when waiting doesn’t actually yield a different result–just a delayed result.”

38 Michell { 12.18.07 at 3:06 pm }

I usually poas prior to beta but that is partially because my doctors office has so far only been ordering the beta with a positive hpt. I used to be a poas-a-holic but that went away quickly. I did once try to explain to a friend that mad urge to pee on a stick in the middle of the night.

39 Jennifer { 12.18.07 at 4:36 pm }

I second that!

I poas everyday leading up to my beta for IVF #2 (usually starting around 10dpo) and I knew that things failed in advance of hearing those terrible words from the nurse’s mouth. Being prepared for the negative beta helped me get thru what would have been an even harder day!

40 Rachel { 12.18.07 at 5:08 pm }

I pee on sticks. I like to know what to expect. I don’t want a nurse telling me the result for the first time. But of course, the pee sticks aren’t always right, especially the cheap internet ones.

41 Holly { 12.18.07 at 5:49 pm }

I didn’t plan on peeing pre-beta, but I ended up changing my mind a couple days before the beta. Pretty much for the same reason you stated – I didn’t want to hear a negative over the phone. But I still waited until the day before my beta because I didn’t see a point in testing any earlier (and I was afraid to see a negative if I tested too early).

42 Meghan { 12.18.07 at 8:15 pm }

I never tested beforehand until I started treatments. Now I share an office with people and really want to know before hearing the message. Part of me also wants to be able to pretend that I can pee on a stick, have it be positive, and announce it to the world…HA!

Before treatments it was much easier for me to get my period than see that blinding white stick.

43 jennifercarol { 12.18.07 at 10:22 pm }

I start the POAS frenzy at 10dpo and then pee every morning until my temps drop or AF arrives. For me its easier to let my hopes fall a little at a time rather than being crushed all at once.

44 katedaphne { 12.19.07 at 11:28 am }

I POAS before beta because on the very off chance that it freaking worked, I want to enjoy every day of it — EVERY day! I hate the idea that I could be pg (!) and spend the day sad and depressed because I don’t know it.

And then, when it doesn’t work, at least I am prepared for “The Call.”

45 LJ { 12.19.07 at 11:36 am }

I’m usually a pre-pee-er, but this round, with all the travel, I think I should be able to skip it all. Not bringing any sticks with me on my journeys next week. That’ll take me through New Year’s Day. I know my clinic likes to do IVF betas super late, so I’m betting it’ll be the following Monday or something like that…

46 Kim { 12.20.07 at 7:38 am }

I never had the opportunity – I always started my period early for some reason. Even with mega doses of progesterone. Go figure.

But I also always viewed knowing as either the end of hope, or the beginning of anxiety. I knew I’d be a wreck if I ever did get pregnant (and I was right! What a triumph!), since I have a history that predisposes me to miscarriage, so I was always a bit nervous to start down that road too.

Best wishes in dealing with your family crisis.

47 Aurelia { 12.20.07 at 9:41 pm }

I only believe in beta blood tests because my pee sticks have been negative so very very often.

And then the beta has been positive, and even if the pg isn’t always viable, it’s important info to have so that I know that I can get pregnant, but I need to do soemthing more to stay pregnant.

48 m { 01.23.08 at 4:25 pm }

I peed this morning, and I wished I hadn’t. BFN. But beta is tomorrow and nurse and hubby assure me that that is the Real Deal.

I am so hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I have to say, I was relieved to see so many of you dismiss the HPT. I love you ladies. Do you even know how much strength I gather from you?? thank you.

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