Answer from: Alpesh Doshi
Embryo transfer is usually performed with the patient awake, so generally in 99% of the cases there is no sedation or anesthetic involved. The patient just arrives at the clinic with a normal day’s breakfast or lunch – depending on the time, has a full bladder. The full bladder is very important because the bladder has to be full, so that it presses onto the uterus making it very accessible during the embryo transfer. Because what we’re trying to do in the embryo transfer is, we’re going to pass a small tube called a catheter containing the embryos and the passage from the cervix into the uterus has to be quite smooth and straight, so when you have a full bladder, the bladder presses onto the uterus, making it straight and hence the entry point which is the cervix into the uterus is pretty straightforward without any obstruction or any trauma that can make the embryo transfer more difficult.
Answer from: Daniel Alexander, MUDr
The most important step on how to prepare yourself for the embryo transfer is to use the recommended medication according to protocol. If you are in a fresh cycle, you have to use everything you use after your egg collection. If you are in a fresh egg donation cycle or a frozen embryo transfer, the most important thing is to use the medication which could be orally, virginally, injections, patches, and sprays according to protocol. We recommend the patients to have a full bladder for the embryo transfer but I think every clinic has his recommendation slightly different.
As for how to behave after the transfer; we recommend you to rest for a couple of minutes after the transfer, and then you can go home, you can travel home. If you are from abroad you can fly home, and we recommend if possible to have a couple of days free and rest, but of course, this is not always possible. Also, that you are free and rest does not always mean that it will bring us a positive result. We can see from our overseas patients that many times they had to fly immediately after the transfer to the United States, Canada, and Australia and spent 20 hours in an airplane; we received positive and negative results from them in normal percentages.
Answer from: Àlex García-Faura, MD
Some patients would ask us what should they do to get ready for the embryo transfer. At Institut Marquès, we allow them to connect to the laboratory before the transfer during the days of the embryo culture so that the patients can follow the development of the embryos from day one to day five. So I think we can reduce patients’ anxiety as much as possible by letting them connect and see how the embryos are growing and developing.
Trying to reduce the anxiety days before the transfer, and of course, the day of the transfer will help to get the patient ready under the best conditions for implantation. So getting to know how the embryos are before the transfer is very important to reduce anxiety and some patients would rather have some complementary techniques such as a massage or a temperature before the transfer to relax and be ready for the implantation. After the transfer, there’s no need to rest, so we tell the patients that from the transfer day up to the pregnancy test, they should continue with the normal activity, avoiding staying home doing nothing, which would increase anxiety and won’t help to increase the pregnancy rates. Staying active and positive after the transfer is the best way to increase our possibilities and reduce the anxiety for the patients who are waiting for a positive pregnancy test.
Answer from: Alejandro Aldape Arellano, MD
There is not a specific preparation for the embryo transfer. What we are used to telling our patients is to be as relaxed as possible and avoid any kind of stressful situation. What we recommend is to be early at the clinic on the day of the transfer, follow all the instructions that your doctor provides. The patient always has clear instructions on what to do on the day of the transfer and 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. 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 having an absolutely normal life. Even if, for some reason, 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. These are not negative nor positive signs. It’s just the way your body is reacting to the embryo transfer, and that’s completely normal.
So to summarize: before the transfer, be is 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, follow up on 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.
Answer from: Inna Moroz, MD
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 the next time when the endometrium thickness will be better. On the day of the transfer, you have to arrive at the clinic 30 minutes before the scheduled time, with 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 hard physical activities, hot air tubes, swimming, and of course, sexual intercourse for the period that your doctor will recommend you. Make sure to follow the follow-up with your doctor and visualize a positive result and success in the future.
Believe in yourself and your successful outcome.
Answer from: Oksana Onischuk Dmitrievna, MD
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 are there. 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 ultrasound. And then you will relax in the relaxing room.
What to do after the embryo transfer? Many patients ask if they can help the implantation or if there are any tips to maximize the implantation. You need to be relaxed. You do not need to restrict your normal activity and have bed rest. Just get 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 experts’ opinions. Some say it is a good idea, others say it’s a bad idea. But if intercourse causes uterine contractions, it’s better to restrain from it for a couple of weeks. The most important thing is the support of 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.
What can help and what is not advised just before and right after the embryo transfer?
What to do before embryo transfer to increase the chances of implantation? What factors may have a negative influence on the whole process? How to prepare before and what to do next, after the transfer day?