Boosting Conception Odds After Transfer

For a variety of reasons, many men and women in the US face infertility. Whether because of genetic predisposition, underlying illness, or unexplained infertility, some individuals aren’t able to conceive naturally. For this cohort, fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be the only realistic option for having children. Many people undergoing IVF want to know what extra steps can be taken after the embryo transfer to improve implantation odds. While much of the process is up to biology, the following tips might give couples peace of mind.


1. Self-care is therapy

To say IVF is stressful is a major understatement. Research consistently shows that both members of the infertility couple experience an increased strain on mental health. The addition of hormone treatments can make the woman’s experience, in particular, even more difficult. Once the embryo transfer occurs, a waiting game similar to the 2-week wait of natural conception can magnify a difficult situation. Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of looking up implantation symptoms on the internet, engage in some self-care. Whether heading to the spa or indulging in a guilty binge-worthy show, take some time to slow down and unwind.

2. Eat well

In truth, people should eat well at every stage of life, not just when trying to conceive. However, the stage where a woman is trying to conceive or is pregnant is when the body needs the most resources. Look for nutrient-dense healthy foods rich in protein, calcium, B vitamins, and iron. Also, if the fertility specialist approves, consider incorporating a prenatal vitamin containing essential nutrients like folic acid and iron.

3. Don’t stop fertility drugs

If a healthcare provider has prescribed medications, such as hormones, before embryo transfer, don’t stop. In particular, many women are told to take progesterone, a critical hormone that sustains the pregnancy and encourages implantation after the transfer is complete. Unless told to do otherwise by a specialist, keep taking prescribed medications to boost implantation odds.

What not to do

For many women, embryo transfer marks the first step toward pregnancy. Similar to women who conceive naturally, this period is full of restrictions. A few activities or actions should be avoided to increase success rates. In particular, avoid having sex immediately following the transfer. When thinking about exercise, opt for low-impact activities instead of rigorous workouts. Avoid alcohol and smoking completely. Lastly, avoid taking a pregnancy test immediately since implantation can take several days.

Pregnancy is possible

Embryo transfer can be an exciting and scary stage within the IVF cycle. The moment marks the potential beginning of a healthy pregnancy. Staying calm may seem like a tall order, but this approach is the best solution until a couple can take a pregnancy test. For other questions regarding best practices during the waiting stage, consider speaking with a fertility specialist.

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