What Is Embryo Transfer?
During IVF treatment, the egg and sperm are introduced in a dish in a laboratory. After fertilization has taken place, the embryo is placed in a special fluid which helps it grow. This process is closely observed, and the doctor will mark the optimal time for transfer to the mother’s uterus. Typically, the embryo is ready for transfer within 6 days after fertilization. Embryo transfer can be a very stressful part of the IVF cycle because many women are anxious about success.
The waiting game
After embryo transfer, comes what’s known as the two week wait. This is the period of waiting time between embryo transfer and the time a woman can test for pregnancy. Women should be aware of the things to do and not do at this time to increase the chance of a successful pregnancy.
1. Eat right all the time
Diet plays a crucial role and maintaining a healthy diet is the key to increased success. The diet should be a balance of fibers, proteins, fruits and vegetables. Creating a diet chart is often a helpful way to follow a healthy meal plan. Doctors recommend that during this time, women avoid harmful food such as processed food, alcohol, caffeine or fish which may contain mercury. Some physicians recommend dietary supplementation as well.
2. Don’t just stay in bed
Many women think full time bed rest can increase the chance of pregnancy. However, this is not the case. In fact, the reverse is the truth. Normal exercise is beneficial for a woman as long as strenuous or extremely vigorous exercise is avoided. During the two week wait, women should only rest when really tired.
3. Keep mentally fit
The two week wait can be a time of anxiety. Being stressed can reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy, so women should try to stay as stress-free as possible. The entire IVF cycle requires patience and calm. Practicing meditation or creative visualization for at least an hour each day can help women stay relaxed and stress-free.
While gentle exercise, diet and not being stressed is common sense, understanding that creating a healthy, positive environment will dramatically improve the success for pregnancy. Do not listen to negative talk, ignore the fertility specialist’s advice or drink and smoke. Many find help joining an IVF support group.