What can help and what is not advised just before and right after embryo transfer?
What to do before embryo transfer to increase the chances of implantation? What factors may have negative influence for the whole process? How to prepare before and what to do next, after the transfer day?
Watch 3on1 #IVFANSWERS where our experts answers all these questions about preparation to embryo transfer
- Dr Inna Moroz – Fertility Specialist at ISIDA IVF Clinic
- Dr Oksana Onyshchuk – Gynecologist-endocrinologist, fertility specialist, The Institute for Reproductive Medicine Prof. F. Dakhno Clinic
- Dr Alejandro Aldape Arellan – senior consultant in reproductive medicine, currently Medical Director of Institut Marquès Ireland.
Answer from Dr Moroz - Fertility Specialist
The embryo transfer day can be a very emotional and a very important day of your life. That’s why it requires your mental and physical strengths, healthy diet, rest, preferably a stress-free environment and a special arm to support you during the big day.
But before that, do your own research. Find the best clinic with high success rates, years of experience and professional doctors. Also make sure to ask your doctor about additional tests such as genetic screening of the embryos to avoid any genetic abnormalities and help you with the identification of your best window of implantation.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions related to the treatment program and check your endometrium thickness very carefully. If it is too thin, it is better to postpone the transfer and try next time when the endometrium thickness will be better. On the day of the transfer, you have to arrive to the clinic 30 minutes before the scheduled time, with the proof of identification and full of optimism about the positive outcome of the treatment. Make sure to avoid any spicy food, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, antidepressants or any other medications that may interfere with the treatment process. After the procedure you will have to have some rest in the clinic and then avoid any strong physical activities, hot air tubes, swimming and of course sexual intercourses for the period that your doctor will recommend you. Make sure to follow the follow-up with your doctor and visualise a positive result and success in the future.
Believe in yourself and in your successful outcome.
Answer from Dr Onyshchuk - Gynecologist-endocrinologist, fertility specialist
First, you need to be calm and relaxed and reduce stressful situations. Your doctor and embryologist will explain to you all the information on the procedures of the embryo transfer and how many embryos there are. You can come to the embryo transfer with your husband so you will be more relaxed.
After the preparation, the embryo transfer will be done under the control of ultra sound. And then you will relax in the relaxing room. What to do after the embryo transfer? Many patients ask if they can help to implant embryos or if there are any tips to maximise the implantation. You need to be relaxed. You do not need to restrict your normal activity and have bed rest. Just get a plenty of sleep and listen to your body. If you want to have a walk, have a short peaceful walk. You do not need a special diet. During those days it is better to eat products with a lot of vitamins and proteins which can help to build a healthy baby. Of course avoid harmful substances, like alcohol, nicotine and coffee. If you go to the gym, do not do high impact exercises.
What about sexual intercourse? There are many different experts’ opinions. Some say it is a good idea, others say it’s a bad idea. But if an intercourse causes uterine contractions, it’s better to restrain from it for a couple of weeks. The most important thing is the support from your husband and your doctor from the clinic. Their help is very important during the 2-week wait for the result of the pregnancy test.
Answer from Dr Aldape Arellan - Medical Director
There is not a specific preparation for the embryo transfer. What we use to say to patients is to be as relaxed as possible and avoid any kind of stressful situations. What we recommend is to be early in the clinic for the day of the transfer and follow all the instructions that your doctor provides you with. The patient always has clear instructions on what to do on the day of the transfer and on the following days.
Try to be as relaxed as possible when you come to the clinic and remember that the whole procedure takes up to 5-10 minutes normally. It is of course a good opportunity to discuss the embryo quality with your doctor. A good way to avoid stress would be to have acupuncture. Although we do not have any evidence that it is going to increase the chances of getting pregnant, it can help patients to be more relaxed and that is what we are looking for on the day of the transfer. Afterwards, the recommendation is to follow the medical instructions. It is very important to continue with all the medications that were prescribed for you. It is something that is a must. Probably one of the most common recommendations is not to swim on the day of the transfer and the day after the transfer. And after that we recommend to have an absolutely normal life. Even if for some reasons you have to travel, there are no contraindications for doing so.
Another thing that you need to know is that potentially you’re going to experience some cramping and some spotting but these are not negative or positive signs. It’s just the way your body is reacting to the embryo transfer and that’s completely normal.
So my summary would be: before the transfer be as relaxed as possible, avoid stressful situations and use acupuncture that potentially may help you. After the transfer, continue with all the medications your doctor prescribed for you and follow up all the medical instructions. Remember that cramping and spotting can be normal and you need to schedule for the pregnancy test. And hopefully it’s going to be successful and I wish you the very best of luck.