Embryo transfer is an exciting and nerve-wracking moment in your fertility treatment. After weeks of medication and careful monitoring and the retrieval by the Wilcox Fertility team, transferring the embryo is the final step towards a possible pregnancy. Once your embryo is transferred, the hope is that it will implant into the lining of the uterus.
Successful implantation typically depends on two factors: One, embryo quality, and two, the receptiveness of the endometrium.
First, concerning embryo quality, the older a woman gets, the more her ovarian reserve decreases. According to the ASRM, women over age thirty have a 20% chance of conceiving, and by age forty, it can decline to as low as 5%. Another factor is the older you get, the quality of the eggs decrease, which creates a higher chance of creating aneuploid embryos. When an embryo is ‘aneuploid’ or chromosomally abnormal, you have a low probability of implantation and a higher chance of experiencing a miscarriage. Genetic testing or perhaps even donor eggs may be options to explore in this case.
Regarding uterine receptivity, this can be affected by several factors that include hormonal imbalances, anatomical issues with the uterus, or problems with the endometrial lining. Proper diagnosis early in your treatment should identify any problems, and usually, there are ways of treating these problems before embryo transfer.
Many women wonder what they can do to help increase their chances of implantation while waiting to see if treatment was successful. While there is no definitive answer, there are some after embryo transfer precautions to take after the procedure that might help.
Relax: While some may have suggested, “Relax, and you’ll get pregnant!” along your fertility journey, we mean it differently. We want to support and encourage you to avoid any unnecessary anxiety. Get plenty of sleep, listen to your body and do what you feel will keep you in a positive frame of mind. Wilcox Fertility cares just as much about your reproductive health as we do your mental health, so be extra gentle to yourself during this time.
Avoid Vigorous Exercise: Gentle exercise like walking or yoga is fine, but you should avoid high impact exercise. Vigorous exercise can stimulate uterine contractions and raise body temperature, which might compromise implantation. Therefore, you should abstain from intense workouts like running, cycling, or heavyweights during this period. Ask team on this paragraph what their recommendations are to patients.
Abstain From Sexual Intercourse: There are differing opinions on this issue, but like vigorous exercise, sexual intercourse can trigger uterine contractions. To be on the safe side, you might want to abstain for a couple of weeks until your pregnancy is confirmed.
Avoid High Heat: A raised internal temperature can compromise implantation. Therefore, you should avoid hot tubs, saunas, or steam rooms – no matter how relaxing they may be. Some doctors also recommend you should avoid being submerged in water after embryo transfer, as it can cause infection.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet with plenty of protein and fiber, and avoid high-mercury fish and soft cheese. You should also avoid all toxins like alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes.
Waiting to find out whether or not you’re pregnant can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Remember, during this “two-week wait’, Dr. Wilcox and his medical team are here to help you every step of the way. If you have any worries or questions about after embryo transfer precautions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.