The embryo transfer procedure is an exciting milestone for anyone undergoing fertility treatment. After weeks of medications and monitoring, this is the time when your medical treatment and hopes all come together– no pressure, right?
Although the anticipation of such a momentous event is arguably a little nerve-wracking and stressful, the final step of the IVF process is also full of potential.
On the day of embryo transfer, the doctor will be placing the embryo in the uterus. In order to become pregnant, that embryo needs to attach to the wall of the uterus, in the endometrial lining.
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is the process of transferring embryos from a previously cryopreserved (frozen) state to the uterus of a patient. Embryos that were not transferred in a previous cycle, may have been cryopreserved and stored for future cycles.
Patients that undergo FET are monitored through ultrasound and blood tests to determine the best time to transfer the embryos for implantation.
Embryos are transferred on either day three or day five of development. The embryologists at RFC are highly skilled in identifying “healthy” embryos and in some cases will recommend that a patient extend embryo development to day five, known as the blastocyst stage.
Blastocyst transfer has become quite common in IVF cycles as it can increase chances for success while decreasing the likelihood of multiples. Your physician will work closely with the embryologists to determine if a day three or day five transfer would be ideal for your cycle.
In some cases, patients may receive hormone medication to ensure a successful transfer. While frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles require less medication, minimal monitoring, and are much less expensive than a fresh cycle, they still provide high pregnancy rates.
The frequency at which embryos successfully implant depends on the quality of the embryo and the readiness of the uterus. There are things such as hormone, thyroid, or autoimmune disorders, or possible and anatomical problem with the shape or arrangement of the uterus, all of which can affect uterine response to the embryo.
By the time one arrives at the embryo transfer stage, though, the doctor will have completed a thorough diagnostic process to help identify these issues. There are ways of treating most of these problems before arriving at this point in the journey.
Being too concerned with the embryo transfer and a successful implementation causes unnecessary stress when patients should really be doing their best to relax. Below are are some things to think about and tips to consider before and after the big day.
Before Embryo Transfer
- Take folic acid to reduce the risks of birth defects. Speak to your doctor about how much to take and consider a vitamin/mineral supplement that includes folic acid, vitamin D and all your B vitamins.
- Start eating a balanced diet that stays away from processed foods, limits sugar, contains good carbohydrates and doesn’t neglect proteins.
- Make an acupuncture appointment to increase blood flow to the uterus (proven by research). The therapy encourages an efficient remodeling of the endometrial layers such that the uterine lining is conducive for implantation of an embryo.
- Consider preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to check that embryos have the right number of chromosomes.
After Embryo Transfer
- Avoid vigorous activity and take advantage of the mandated chance to relax.
- Eat a vibrant, varied diet rich in nutrients can help to strengthen your body’s systems and create a healthy foundation for IVF.
- Avoid hot baths or jacuzzis and instead take quick, warm showers.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of clear liquids.
- Try not to worry while you wait. Be open about talking to friends and family about what you’re feeling.
Learn more about IVF and how to prepare for this final cycle by calling Reproductive Fertility Center today. Book your appointment online at www.reproductivefertilitycenter.com/locations-contact/ or call our main office at (949) 453-8600. Dial (626) 388-6022 for Chinese 中文.