What to do and what not to do after embryo transfer?

Dos and Don’ts after embryo transfer.

What are the recommendations post embryo transfer? What can be done to maximise the chances of successful implantation? Watch explanation by the experts in 3on1 #IVFANSWERS:
• Dr Maria Arquè, International Medical Director at Fertty International
• Dr Marisa Lacárcel, Obstetrician/ Gynaecologist Eva Fertility Clinics
• Dr Raúl Olivares, Medical Director at Barcelona IVF

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Dr Maria Arquè, Fertty International, Spain

Answer from Dr Arquè

What we recommend on the day of the embryo transfer is that you have gentle activity. You can go out for a walk, you can go out for a lunch but avoid any physical effort and continue with the medications as advised by your doctor. During the following days after the embryo transfer, what we recommend is to avoid any important physical efforts and sexual intercourse for about 3-4 days and also avoid being submerged in water – so avoid baths and going to a swimming pool. Apart from that, you can generally resume your normal activity. The other thing to take into consideration is that you should avoid drinking alcohol because you might already be pregnant hopefully. And it is also very important to try to stay as distracted as possible. The two weeks while you’re waiting for the pregnancy test are usually very challenging from the emotional and psychological perspective. Therefore, we think that during this time it is very important to do things that you simply like to do.

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Dr Marisa Lacárcel, Eva Fertility Clinics, Spain

Answer from Dr Lacárcel

When we do an embryo transfer, we can do some things in order to help the embryos to implant. One of them is to rest. It is true that resting, for like half an hour, is good for the embryos to implant. But we recommend to relax or have rest during one or two days after the transfer because this can help a little more. Then it is important not to have sex because this can produce contractions in the uterus and it can make the implantation difficult. You must drink about 2-3 litres of water per day because this can relax the uterus and help to do the implantation. You also have to follow with all the medications to support the luteal phase and to help the embryos to implant. It is also important not to have a bath during five days after the embryo transfer. So you can have a shower but not a bath because this can help with the implantation.

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Dr Raúl Olivares, Barcelona IVF, Spain

Answer from Dr Olivares

We really don’t recommend a lot of things after the embryo transfer. We just recommend resting for a couple of hours immediately after because we know that passing the catheter may increase the number of contractions in the uterus. And the more contractions the patient has, the lower the implantation rates are going to be. So for these two hours we try to keep you relaxed. But after that, we believe that patients can do very little to increase or decrease the pregnancy rates. Women who get pregnant naturally keep leading a completely normal life until they are aware of pregnancy. So this is very similar to what we recommend. What we usually tell them is to consider themselves pregnant and do what pregnant women are supposed to do. This means leading a normal life and trying to have some restrictions with regards to physical activities or being exposed to toxics. But other than that, just lead a normal life and wait for the pregnancy test.

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Three IVF experts answering the same question.

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