Causes & Treatment

Do’s and don’ts after IVF transfer – 6 tips from a fertility clinic

Emma Harpham, in partnership with Gynem  |   14 Jun 2023

When you’re going through an IVF cycle, the day of your transfer can feel like a big milestone. Afterwards, you may be left wondering what to do after your embryo transfer, or whether there is anything you should be avoiding…

Understanding the IVF transfer process

Whether you’re coming to the end of an IVF cycle or you’re starting to navigate a fertility journey, understanding the different elements of the IVF process and what your options are is essential. This said, IVF can be a challenging and emotional journey, and undergoing an embryo transfer represents the last stage of the process. Therefore, it can also be helpful to know beforehand how best to navigate the weeks to come.

The doctors at Gynem Fertility Clinic have three decades of experience in leading fertility treatment methods. With their compassionate and supportive client focus, they also know a thing or two about what to expect after an embryo transfer. With their help, we’ve put together some simple do’s and don’ts for after IVF transfer, and some helpful pointers for what to expect in the following weeks. 

Don’t push yourself

How long should you rest after an IVF transfer? Well, gentle activity and exercise like walking is encouraged to maintain blood flow, and it’s definitely okay to return to your daily routines. However, it is helpful to avoid heavy lifting, intense workouts and other strenuous activity that can be taxing for the body, at least until the two week wait (TWW) has passed.

It is often recommended to avoid visiting swimming pools or beaches, in order to prevent UTIs and other infections. Basically, avoiding anything that can affect the pH of your vagina is a good idea. It is also not recommended to go to the sauna and whirlpool nor to bathe in hot water in general.

Don’t neglect your wellbeing

In terms of what you should eat after an embryo transfer, just as there are certain foods that are considered helpful for supporting you and your body, avoiding the consumption of alcohol and processed foods is generally advised. This is because they increase inflammation in the body, and sometimes even oestrogen levels.

Don’t test too soon

The waiting period after an IVF transfer can be particularly nail-biting for individuals or couples looking to start a family. However, an early pregnancy test can produce unreliable results. If your early test results are negative – they recommend only blood tests. If the HCG level is rather low (to be consulted with the doctor), then it is recommended to repeat the test in 2 days. Gynem would highlight that it is recommended to wait for those 2 weeks before undergoing the HCG blood test.

Additionally, there are distinctions between blood testing and at-home tests. Since fertility experts can measure and monitor your levels in greater detail, blood tests offer higher accuracy and dependability in their sensitivity to the smallest amounts than home pregnancy tests, which detect hCG levels in urine.

resting after ivf transfer do's and don'ts

Do prioritize rest

Rest rest rest. You may be left feeling tired in the weeks following an embryo transfer, so listening to your body, getting plenty of sleep and taking things easy is key.

This also applies to your mental wellbeing, too. It can be helpful to engage in lowkey activities that you typically enjoy that give your mind a bit of a break – and yes, this includes staying off Google!

Do nourish your body

Drinking plenty of fluids is always a good idea, and so is keeping caffeine to a minimum. Post-IVF transfer is also a good time to embrace healthy eating. You’ll want to eat foods that make you feel good, but choosing a diet made up of fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in calcium, zinc, iron and Omega 3 is going to be a good idea.

Further, do stay on top of your supplements and medication. Taking prenatal vitamins and progesterone is a good idea, as well as continuing to take a folic acid supplement. Oh, and this goes for prescribed medications you might already be taking, too – don’t stop taking them without consulting your doctor!

Do tap into positive stress management methods

The period after an embryo transfer can be difficult, and your mental health can often feel more fragile, especially during the TWW. Everyone is different, so being gentle with yourself and tapping into stress management methods that you know work for you, is key.

For some, that might look like mobilising your support network, and spending time connecting with people you trust when things feel difficult. For others, this might look like practising mindfulness or making time in your day for yoga or breathwork. Go at your own pace.

What to do after IVF transfer summed up

So, being proactive and prioritising rest, keeping in touch with your body and your diet, and indulging in a little self-care whilst you wait for the next step are all great ways to look after yourself after an IVF transfer. 

It’s easy to become fixated on what you can and can’t control here – this period can feel so crucial, but it can be helpful to look at it as a time for lowkey activities and developing healthy habits, first and foremost. 

Creating a personalised treatment plan from the start can also be a helpful way to smooth this part of your fertility journey, and ensure you get the support you need after your transfer. The Gynem Fertility Clinic puts together tailor-made options after an initial free consultation, as well as giving considered support and advice throughout the IVF process. They also offer a 20% discount on your 3rd cycle of treatment, if needed.

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