When you are going through an embryo transfer there are many different steps that you can take both before and after the transfer to help improve your chances of a successful pregnancy. We have put together a list of things that can help you to both prepare for an embryo transfer, help improve implantation, and to help make that egg stick!
Steps to Take Before the Transfer
Before your embryo transfer you want to make sure that your body is fully prepared for pregnancy and in the best shape that it can be in. Here are a few helpful tips that you can do to help ensure this:
- Request the most experienced doctor – As the patient, you have the right to request the most experienced doctor at your clinic if you wish. Fertility treatments are costly and seeking someone who has experience and the proper technique can help improve your chances of success, as well as your confidence level.
- Request a mock transfer – You can always ask if your clinic does mock transfers so that you know what to expect before the big day. This can help to re-evaluate your uterine cavity and to discern any possible barriers that may exist. This may also help to see if a catheter should be used if there is cervical growth found.
- Try to avoid a hydrosalpinx beforehand – This is where fluid is within one or both fallopian tubes and is commonly related to endometriosis or a previously sexually transmitted disease. The fluid can leak into the uterus and cause issues within the transferred embryos. Try to schedule your hysterosalpingogram and ultrasound testing well in advance to your embryo transfer. This will help to determine if there are any issues with your tubes and if anything needs to be repaired before the transfer.
- Take your folic acid and prenatal vitamins- Just like trying to conceive naturally, you need to make sure to take prenatal vitamins as well as folic acid before your transfer. This will help to ensure that your body has the proper nutrients to help support your possible pregnancy.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Maintaining a healthy weight can help to improve your IVF success. Being overweight can increase the chances of complications during your egg retrieval and embryo transfers. By taking the time to exercise and have a healthy diet, you will work to make sure your body is in the optimum shape for pregnancy.
- Help to optimize sperm health – Make sure that your partner is also maintaining optimal body weight and taking their multivitamins. This will help to ensure that the sperm used in the embryo creation is both healthy and strong.
- Reduce your stress levels- Reducing your stress levels can help with conception. Try doing acupuncture, yoga, meditation, resilience training workshops, or your favorite hobby that helps you to unwind.
- Quit smoking and drinking alcohol – Both smoking and alcohol can affect egg and sperm quality. It is important to stop these habits before your egg retrieval and to stay away from them throughout your embryo transfer and pregnancy.
- Having sex– Studies show that if you continue to have sex during your embryo retrieval and transfer process this will help to boost your success. Sex helps your body to produce natural hormones that help to improve your chances of implantation.
Steps to Take During Your Embryo Transfer
Even after your embryo has been fertilized, implantation is now the main focus. About 40 percent of all fertilized embryo transfers do not result in a successful pregnancy. By doing what you can to help provide the best condition will help increase your chances of success.
Here are a few tips to help improve your implantation and transfer :
- Assisted hatching – To help implantation occur you can always look into assisted hatching. This is a procedure that helps the embryonic shell to become weakened allowing for an easier implantation. A small hole is created using a pipette or laser to help facilitate the hatching process.
- FertiGrow – By applying FertiGrow to the uterus the endometrium can be enhanced to help improve the chances of implantation.
- EmbryoGlue Method – This is a substance that helps the embryo to implant and “stick” to the uterus. It has high levels of hyaluronan that naturally occurs within the woman’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This helps to make a “stickier” embryo.
- Implantation Injection and Scratching – Particular hormones help to play a role within a successful implantation. Six days after your follicular puncture, a medication to produce these hormones can be injected to help. A scratching of the uterine lining can also help to increase the likelihood of a successful embryo transfer and implantation.
Steps to Take After your Embryo Transfer
Once your embryo transfer is complete, all you can really do is sit around and keep your fingers crossed for a sticky embryo! However, there are a few steps that you can take to help improve your chances of implantation and successful pregnancy.
- Try to avoid full bed rest – Studies show that full bed rest may not be the best way to go after your transfer. While resting is definitely in your best interest, relaxing and sitting upright will also help your chances at success. Avoid exercise and heavy lifting for at least the first few days after your transfer. You also want to avoid hot baths or showers. Perhaps take a slow walk around the neighborhood or go out to lunch with your significant other. Try to do activities that will keep you calm and relaxed, but a little active.
- Laughter is the key – Staying stress free will help your odds go way up! It has also been found that staying in a good and happy mood also help to boost these odds. Patients who were entertained and laughing for the 15 minutes post transfer were found to be twice as likely to conceive as those that stayed serious. Have your partner tell you jokes, or talk about a funny memory that you both share.
- Try to avoid sneezing or coughing – If you have a cold the day of your transfer, make sure that your doctor is aware. You want to avoid coughing or sneezing during your transfer can cause an issue of where the embryo is placed.
- Be patient and relax- Make sure that you stay relaxed during your two-week wait. While this can seem impossible as you just can’t wait for your results, this is key. Be patient with yourself and enjoy this time that you have being PUPO, pregnant until proven otherwise. Take some time off work if you can and catch up on your favorite tv shows. Or perhaps read a book that you have been looking forward to all year.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol – Make sure to continue to avoid alcohol while you are waiting for your two week results. You also want to limit your intake of caffeine to help improve your chances of conceiving. If you absolutely must have your daily cup of coffee that is fine, but avoid having more than one during this time period.
Enjoy this Time!
Remember that your embryo transfer is a time period that you should enjoy to the best of your ability! You have reached the moment that your whole IVF process has been working towards. Try and remain patient with yourself and your partner during this time period. Relax, breathe, and best of luck during your embryo transfer!