Self Care for Embryo Transfer Day
Embryo transfer day can be tough. There are a lot of factors that are outside your control. Having some simple things to focus on, other than the pending transfer can help you get through the day with less apprehension and actually help improve your chance of pregnancy.
Start the day with a walk in the morning and a big nutritious breakfast around 1-2 hours before your transfer. If very early transfer, just something with fats and proteins like half an avocado. You don’t want to be too full or too hungry – increased healthy fats can increase your implantation window.
Make sure you drink lots of water – the IVF clinic may have asked for a ‘comfortably full bladder’. Drinking water helps dilate blood vessels and when your bladder is full, it pushes your uterus upwards to help get a better position for transfer. Herbal teas and bone broth count towards water intake. Room temperature or warm is best from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Wear closed in shoes/slippers to keep feet warm. Practically, dresses are probably easier to wear to your transfer. But if the weather is cold, make sure you layer up with singlets and tights. Warmth is really important.
Pre and Post transfer acupuncture treatments – research has found up to 65% increase in success of embryo transfers can occur if acupuncture is done before and after transfer.
If you’re having pre and post acupuncture treatments, bring a snack to have between your transfer and your second acupuncture appointment. You can feel faint with your acupuncture treatment if you’re hungry.
Plan to have a relaxed afternoon – something involving a comedy movie – research has shown improved pregnancy outcomes with laughter post transfer. Seriously…a medical clown was used to make women laugh post transfer, and those that laughed had better rates of clinical pregnancy.
Research has shown that having sex the night before transfer can improve pregnancy outcomes too, not related to sperm but the seminal fluid mimicking a ‘natural fluid environment’ for conception. I do advise caution with fresh transfers depending on how you feel post egg collection. The research was found in frozen transfer cycles, not fresh.
You may have heard the anecdotal advice about eating McDonald’s chips post transfer. It certainly can’t hurt. I think the benefit is in the salt, which would be more supportive for fresh transfers (salt reduces fluid retention). You could eat a healthier salty food option if you’d like to avoid fast food.
You could enjoy your last glass of wine the night of transfer. Completely optional of course and if it doesn’t feel right, absolutely no pressure. Alcohol is warming, blood moving and can make you feel relaxed. I remember reading about an IVF clinic in America that recommended a shot of rum after your transfer years ago – but I have not been able to find the link again!
Back to normal activity from the day after transfer :)) You can expect implantation to happen around 72 hours after your transfer (for a day 5 embryo transfer).
Best of luck!