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How to Prepare for Your Embryo Transfer

Thoughtful plans will help you prepare for your embryo transfer

How to prepare for your embryo transferIt’s finally embryo transfer time! By now, you’ve managed to make it through all of the hard parts of your in vitro fertilization journey – the countless injections, the many tests and ultrasounds, the waiting – and you are finally ready for your embryo transfer. This is your final step in the IVF process, and knowing what to expect for your embryo transfer can decrease your stress and maximize your chances of success.

The best way to prepare for your embryo transfer is to think ahead and follow the instructions your Fertility Answers IVF team gave you. Reread all the information you were given to make sure you fully understand everything. Ask for clarification from your team if you are unsure, especially if it has to do with medications and when to take them. Then use the tips below to help you have a stress-free and successful embryo transfer.

The week before your embryo transfer

To prepare for your embryo transfer, a little pre-planning can go a long way. Making plans at least a week out can eliminate last minute anxiety and mishaps. To prepare for your embryo transfer a week out, here are some tips:

  • Follow instructions carefully for your medications. At this point in your IVF cycle, you will likely be on supportive medications, such as progesterone. So, make sure you have enough and that you follow the directions on what and how to take them. If you will need more medications over a weekend, make sure you take care of procuring additional needed medications before your Fertility Answers team finishes work for the week (our clinics close at noon on Fridays). If you are traveling, be sure to have enough medication on hand throughout your travels as needed. Also, when traveling by air, keep your medications with you in your carry-on since temperatures in the cargo area of planes can be unstable. Be sure to get a note, if needed, from your Fertility Answers team explaining why you need to take medications, and especially needles, on the plane.
  • Plan ahead to get to our clinic on time. Know what time you need to arrive and give yourself an extra 15 minutes. Think about traffic, weather, and other issues that may cause delays. If you live out of town, consider staying in a hotel close to our clinic the night before. 
  • Know protocol before you arrive. Ask your Fertility Answers team about who you can bring to your transfer and where they are allowed to go with you. Also, ask about what you should wear, how you will feel after the transfer, how long the procedure lasts, who needs to be there to drive you home.
  • Relax the night before. Find activities that are relaxing and stress-free, like a take-out dinner, a new book, or a feel-good movie.

The day of your embryo transfer

Your pre-planning from the week before should make your embryo transfer day a breeze. To prepare for your embryo transfer the day of, follow these instructions:

  • Continue with medications as instructed. Your Fertility Answer team will give you exact instructions on what to take when. If you have any questions about medications, please do not wait until the last minute to ask.
  • Come to the clinic with your bladder full. Drink water on your way to the clinic the day of your transfer. A full bladder changes the angle of the uterus and helps our physician visualize the catheter more clearly for perfect placement of the embryo. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Top and bottom separates are ideal since you will be removing all of your clothing from the waist down.We will give you a pair of non-skid socks to wear for the procedure.
  • No perfume or cologne. Please do not wear perfume, cologne, lotions or anything heavily scented, such as hairspray, nail polish, etc. Embryos are very sensitive to their environment, so maintaining pristine air quality will help make them happy. This applies to your partner as well, who is allowed to accompany you in the procedure room. 
  • No sedation required. For your embryo transfer, you will not need an IV, sedation or anesthesia. We will give you Valium after your transfer to help relax your uterus.
  • The actual procedure lasts only a few minutes. Your embryo transfer procedure is similar to a pelvic examination and takes just a few minutes to complete. A small tube is placed in the uterus, through which the embryos are transferred. Once completed, you will be able to empty your bladder, dress and return home to rest for the remainder of the day.
  • Take it easy. Implantation of the embryo will likely occur the day of or day after your transfer, so plan to take it easy these two days. Think relaxation and pampering yourself. At this point in your IVF cycle you’ve definitely earned it, right? However, if you don’t have the luxury of taking a day off, just take it a little easier than you normally would. Remind yourself that people get pregnant all the time without altering their normal activities.

Your IVF team will provide you with instructions on what you can and can’t do after your transfer. Try to follow these as best you can. There are some things to avoid that are really important, such as intense exercise and using douches. But for the most part, your life between transfer and your pregnancy test can resume as normal.


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