Have you heard people say that the IVF procedure is the most difficult part and that you can rest after the procedure? Well, it is not true. The real work starts after the embryo transfer procedure.
Embryo transfer is the most important stage of the embryo transfer. This is the stage where the embryo(s) is transferred into your uterus, and the success and failure of your IVF cycle depends on this stage.
You need to be very careful after this procedure and should clearly understand what you can and cannot do during this stage. This article discusses all the precautions you need to take after embryo transfer. Read it and use it for your reference.
Precautions That Need to be Taken After an Embryo Transfer in IVF
Follow Medical Prescription
Not only during the IVF procedure, your doctor would also have prescribed medication you should take after embryo transfer. Make sure you take all of them on time without fail.
Your fertility doctor knows your health better and would have suggested medicines that would improve your health and increase the chances of pregnancy. So, never miss even a single dose of your daily medication. You can even set an alarm to take your medicines on time.
Eat a well-balanced diet, and Keep yourself hydrated
What you eat and drink during this period also matters for a healthy body and a successful pregnancy. Try adding fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in nutrients to get the essential daily dose of nutrients in your body.
Also, drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated and nourished. There are no diet restrictions on what you should and should not eat after embryo transfer. You can have any food as long as it is well-cooked and not fried or processed.
You can also get a customized meal plan that suits your body from your fertility doctor or dietician. Healthy meals can prevent acidity from the concentrated IVF medication, and drinking water can prevent urinary tract infections. So, ensure you have both in your post-embryo transfer care plan.
Take Folic Acid Supplement
Folic acid, also called folate, is a natural form of Vitamin B9 and one of the essential nutrients to facilitate fertility and healthy baby growth. It is generally recommended by doctors to take during pregnancy, whether IVF or natural pregnancy.
It has numerous benefits for the baby and mother. Some of them are listed below.
- It helps with successful embryo implantation
- It promotes cell division and development in the embryo
- It promotes healthy blood vessels and neural development
- It reduces the risks of birth defects in the baby
- It prevents risks of neural tube abnormalities
Avoid Vigorous Physical Activity
It is necessary to not stay idle for a long time after embryo transfer. But you should also not do any vigorous activities. Doing strenuous and vigorous activities like running, bending, lifting heavy objects, etc., can put stress on your body and affect the implantation rate.
Stay calm and practice mild exercises like walking, yoga, and meditation. There are specific yoga poses for pregnancy care. You can try practicing it at home.
Avoid Sexual Intercourse
This point has no definite answer. Some doctors say it is okay to have sex after embryo transfer, and some say it is better to abstain from sex for a few days after embryo transfer.
Though there are no definite answers, it is best not to take any chances. Try avoiding sexual intercourse for at least two weeks after embryo transfer. This is the time when the embryo will be implanted in the uterine lining.
Having sexual intercourse can contract the uterine muscles and affect the implantation rate and embryo development.
Do Not Ignore troubling symptoms
IVF can be physically and emotionally exhausting. You will have undergone numerous procedures and taken numerous medications during this period; all of these can sometimes cause adverse reactions in your body.
These symptoms are usually temporary and disappear after a few days. But, if the symptom persists or increases in intensity, it is best not to ignore it and consult your doctor.
Keep away from heat and harmful chemicals
Two main things you should avoid during IVF pregnancy are heat and harmful chemicals. Your uterus needs to be at a specific temperature to facilitate implantation and develop the embryo.
Exposing your body to excess heat, like hot tubs or saunas, or eating body-heat-inducing foods can affect implantation and fetal development.
Some harmful chemicals you need to stay away from are parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and triclosan. These chemicals are called Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDC). They can disrupt hormone levels and affect the baby’s development.
Avoid Caffeine, Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Other Drugs
It is crucial that you stop habits like drinking too much coffee, consuming alcohol, smoking, and using drugs during your IVF journey. All these substances can affect your reproductive system and decrease implantation rates.
Doctors, in general, will advise their patients to quit these activities for at least 3 months before starting the IVF treatments.
Most importantly, try to remain stress-free
It is normal for you to feel stressed about the result of your IVF cycle. However, you should understand that stress can affect your body’s hormones and affect implantation rates. This can negatively impact your body’s health.
So, the best thing you can do during this period is stay relaxed and rest adequately. Spend quality time with your loved one and have a positive mindset.
The above points are some precautions you need to take after embryo transfer. Your doctor might recommend more precautions if you are at risk of IVF failure.
Listen to your doctor’s advice and take good care of your body before, during, and after embryo transfer. Understand that not only your Fertility doctor but also you have a major part to play in ensuring a successful IVF pregnancy.
Embryo transfer is a minimally invasive procedure that might make you tired and painful. So, it is best to rest for at least 48 hours before resuming your daily activities.
Know that being active does not influence your IVF success rate. So you can do normal activities when you feel better after the procedure.
Yes, you can travel, but it is best to wait for at least one day before going home. Traveling has not been shown to influence the implantation rate. This one-day rest is to give your body time to recover after the embryo transfer procedure.
There are no specific diet restrictions on what you should and shouldn’t eat after embryo transfer. As long as it is well-cooked and not fried or processed food, you can eat it. However, here are some foods that are especially beneficial after embryo transfer.
- Citrus fruits (oranges, berries, grapefruits, etc.)
- Leafy greens (spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, etc.)
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole grains (brown rice, barley, oatmeal, etc.)