Activities to embrace and avoid after your embryo transfer
Congratulations! You’ve finally reached that pivotal moment in your IVF cycle and you’re having your embryo transfer. For many, it has been a long and winding road to get to this point. Now is a good time to learn important activities that you should embrace after your embryo transfer as well as those you want to avoid.
Activities to embrace after your embryo transfer
Your embryo transfer is the most important part of your IVF cycle. Now is the time to be proactive and embrace positive activities.
- Rest and relaxation – Rest as much as possible for the following 2 to 3 days after your embryo transfer. You certainly don’t have to go on complete bed rest or lie down all the time (your embryo won’t “fall out” if you don’t keep your feet up). But if you want to use this as an excuse to get your partner to do the grocery shopping, we won’t tell. Take this time to prioritize self-care and engage in activities that promote relaxation. Gentle walks, reading, listening to soothing music, meditation, or practicing deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being. If you can stay home from work, that would be ideal.
- Hydrate – Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal health and supporting the body’s natural processes. Drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids to keep your body well-hydrated. However, avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages or alcohol, as they may negatively impact embryo implantation.
- Maintain a Nutritious Diet – Eat as you normally would after your embryo transfer, but better yet, eat like you are already pregnant. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for promoting a healthy pregnancy. Focus on consuming whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your meals.
- Gentle Exercise – Engaging in light exercise, such as gentle walks or prenatal yoga, can be beneficial for your overall well-being. Exercise helps improve blood circulation, reduces stress, and promotes a healthy weight.
- Think Positive – Undergoing infertility treatments can be emotionally challenging. After your embryo transfer, seek support from your partner, friends, or a support group to share your feelings and experiences. Consider counseling or therapy to help navigate the emotional rollercoaster associated with infertility and fertility treatments.
- Be Aware of Changes in Your Body – Many symptoms, such as spotting or cramping, may be signs of implantation after your embryo transfer and are considered normal. However, you know your body better than anyone, so if you have a change that is concerning, we want to hear about it. Contact us if you have any excessive cramping or bleeding, run a fever, or notice any other problems with your body that you feel aren’t normal.
Activities to avoid after your embryo transfer:
Of course, there are a few things you probably want to avoid doing in the hours and days after your embryo transfer to give your embryo a great start.
- Avoid Intense Physical Activities – While light exercise is encouraged, it’s crucial to avoid rigorous workouts, heavy lifting of 10 pounds or more, or activities that may strain your body. High-impact exercises or sports with a risk of falling or injury should be avoided during the initial stages after your embryo transfer.
- Avoid Stressful Situations – High stress situations may adversely affect your fertility and implantation. Minimize these situations by creating a calm and peaceful environment. Engage in relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, to manage stress effectively.
- Avoid Excessive Heat – Exposing your body to excessive heat, such as hot baths, saunas, or hot tubs, should be avoided. Elevated body temperature may negatively impact embryo implantation. Stick to warm or lukewarm showers instead.
- Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Consumption – Both smoking and alcohol consumption have been linked to decreased fertility and pregnancy complications. It’s crucial to avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption during the entire IVF process, including after your embryo transfer.
- Avoid Sexual Intercourse – After your embryo transfer, it’s important to refrain from sex or anything in your vagina, such as tampons or douches, until after your pregnancy test.
- Do Not Take Ibuprofen – For any discomfort you may have post transfer, take only Tylenol (acetaminophen) or use a heating pad on low. DO NOT use Ibuprofen pain relievers such as Motrin or Advil. Additionally, DO NOT take aspirin or medication containing aspirin, except for the aspirin 80mg or 81mg if prescribed by your doctor.
Make the most of the waiting game
The days after your embryo transfer leading up to your scheduled in-office pregnancy test can be excruciating. It’s a long two weeks but try to resist the urge to take a home pregnancy test. It can take up to two weeks or more from transfer day until the placenta cells start producing enough of the hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to be detected by a blood test. An early negative or inconclusive test will only cause additional stress.
Finding some low-key activities to distract you while you’re waiting may help pass the time. Now is a good time to prioritize activities and habits that support a healthy pregnancy, such as taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, eating a healthy diet, or quitting smoking. And while the success of your transfer at this point will ultimately be decided by Mother Nature, following our list of do’s and don’ts will help create an inviting environment for your embryo to implant.