Embryo transfer is a part of the IVF, or in vitro fertilisation process. The entire cycle of IVF is a step-by-step process which, if successful, culminates into pregnancy. Embryo transfer is one of the final steps.
It is where an embryo is transferred back into your uterus. The embryo is created in a lab setting by fertilising an egg with the sperm selected for the purpose. Depending on the reproductive health of the participating individuals, one may choose to involve donors.
Types of Embryo Transfers
There are broadly two types of embryo transfers done in IVF. The first is a regular transfer where a fertilised egg is transferred directly to the uterus. The second is frozen embryo transfer. These are embryos created during the in vitro fertilisation process and can be frozen if you choose to, for later use.
Regular or frozen embryo transfer success rate depends on factors such as the age of the candidate. It may take multiple cycles of embryo transfers before a successful pregnancy is achieved. This is where frozen embryos may prove useful for some candidates.
Also, Read: Difference Between Egg and Embryo Freezing
Tips to Prepare for Embryo Transfer
While a part of the process may be happening in a lab, it is always advisable for the participants to prepare, physically and mentally, for the embryo transfer.
Here are a few tips that can help embryo transfer candidates prepare well for the process.
Irrespective of whether your pregnancy is achieved naturally or through fertility treatment, taking care of your diet and eating healthy is a significant part of achieving a healthy pregnancy. You can start making these changes even before you begin your IVF journey. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and processed foods. Ensure that you are drinking enough water.
Disturbed, irregular sleep cycles can lead to health troubles and stress. Seven to nine hours of regular sleep is recommended. If you find trouble getting a good night’s sleep, you can try to incorporate light stretching before bed. It is also advisable to limit screen time and eat your last meal at least a couple of hours before bed. Ensure that your sleeping conditions are comfortable for you.
If you have been working out since before your IVF and are used to such a routine, there is no harm in continuing to do so. However, it is advisable to keep your physical activity to a minimum, so it does not wear you out. If you haven’t been exercising, do not start a new routine. If you have concerns, please discuss this with your doctor.
Fertility treatments can be a stressful time, especially considering the involvement of medicines and hormone treatments. Find ways to keep yourself healthy and happy. Engage in activities that bring you joy. This could mean spending time in nature, reading your favourite book, or spending some quality time with a loved one. If you experience stress, consider speaking to your therapist.
Your IVF treatment leading up to your embryo transfer will involve some medications. You will need to ensure that you are regular about this part of the treatment. Organise your medications, if necessary. Set reminders if you need to.
Plan for the day
The days leading up to the procedure can leave you excited and anxious. Channel this energy into preparing well for the day of the procedure. Ensure that you have a bag ready for everything that you need. Have you chosen the comfortable clothes that you will be wearing for the procedure? Consider carrying with you a bottle of water, some relaxing music, or a journal. Make travel arrangements if necessary, so you aren’t late for your appointment.
Embryo transfer is a step in IVF that can leave you excited and anxious. Approach this with a positive mindset.
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