What to do and not do after IVF embryo transfer
It's ideal to prep yourself 2-3 months before starting the IVF process. This includes optimising your diet to help strengthen your body and improve egg growth. You should also reduce your energy expenditure, work less, sleep early and exercise less too.
Before egg retrieval it's good to eat lots of protein to help the eggs (follicles) grow. Keep your abdomen warm and use a hot water bottle to help blow flow to the uterus. Acupuncture can also help increase blood flow to the uterus.
Most in-vitro fertilization clinics will recommend carrying on as normal once you've had the embryo transfer. However, I believe there are several things you can do to help implantation and increase the success rate of your IVF treatment.
Once the embryos have been transferred back into the IVF patient, the IVF embryo will move closer to the embryo wall and if at blastocyst stage will start to hatch and attach. A non-blastocyst embryo will need to grow more before it hatches and attaches to the uterus wall.
To help increase the chance of the embryo implanting and the IVF treatment being successful, I recommend these tips post transfer:
- Have IVF acupuncture to prevent uterine contractions
- After the embryo transfer procedure lie down for a while
- Take folic acid together with a good quality prenatal supplement
- Rest as much as you can
- Bed rest after embryo transfers
- Limit your physical activity, so no vigorous exercise
- Lie down and imagine your energy and blood going to your uterus
- Carry on with your normal activities but act as if you are pregnant
- Sleep early
- Have acupuncture to assist with embryo implantation as this increases pregnancy rates
- Staying positive is important. Research has shown being positive increases success rates of a IVF cycle
- If you feel anxious, take a breath in and say "I" and breathe out and say "surrender"
- During the week wait try to distract yourself with nice things, lunch with friends or family or watch TV box sets
- Don't watch any scary movies as being shocked and scared can affect the embryo implanting
These tips apply to women who are using their own eggs or donor eggs and for all types of fertility treatment.
Once you have a positive pregnancy test, you should rest, relax, don't lift anything heavy, and avoid certain foods such as blue cheese, unpasteurised dairy products, shell fish, uncooked meats such as salami, honey, painkillers and certain anti-biotics.
Don'ts after embryo transfer
Here is a list of things to not do after IVF transfer:
- Don't exercise, rest instead
- Don't do anything heavy lifting
- Don't have hot baths or use a sun bed or sauna
- Don't have sexual intercourse
- Don't sleep later than 10pm
- Don't eat any shell fish, blue cheese, uncooked meats, sushi and processed meats
- Don't place any heat on your abdomen. If you're cold, put heat on your lower back instead
- Don't take the pregnancy test earlier as it could give a false negative result
Early signs of pregnancy
Here are lots of early pregnancy signs that you can look out for.