STAGE 8 | Embryo transfer

The whole IVF cycle now depends on this delicate transfer. This usually takes place on either day 2, 3, 5 or 6 following egg collection and involves placing an embryo (or embryos) through a tube inserted into your vagina and placed near the middle of the uterus.

Your age, the number of eggs collected and your clinics guidelines will determine how many embryos are transferred.

Any healthy embryos not used can be frozen for future attempts.

The more embryos placed in your womb does increase your chances of becoming pregnant, but there are also more risks. Such as multiple pregnancy and possible health issues. A single embryo transfer (SET) is usually the best way to go, especially at first. But discuss this with the clinic.

Before the transfer, the cerfix is swabbed. This may result in a small amount of clear or bloody fluid shortly afterwards. So don’t worry, it’s all perfectly normal.

There is a small risk of infection for a few days, so avoid hot baths and stick to showers.

Should I stay in bed?
You should take things easy for the rest of the day following transfer. But prolonged bed rest has not been proved to be helpful. You can get back to normal work routine the next day. In nature, the embryo floats freely in the endometrial cavity for a number of days before implantation and it is exactly the same in an IVF. Prolonged bed rest is only recommended If there is an increased risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation, your clinic will let you know what you need to do.

What foods are meant to help implantation?
There is no scientific proof that a special diet increases chances of success. But a healthy, balanced diet full of whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables will always do you good. Also maintaining good Vitamin D levels is important, through supplements as well as sunshine!

Why is using progesterone during this period important?
Ovaries do not always create enough progesterone naturally during IVF. Which your body needs to support to the lining of the uterus and to help maintain an early pregnancy. In this case your clinic will advise you take progesterone pessaries, or shots for IVF (once-a-night intramuscular injections).

Does embryo glue work?
This is rumoured to help the embryo to attach itself to the uterus. It’s not actually a glue and the results are not conclusive that this actually works. But it’s relatively cheap (£100 – £200), so if your initial IVF cycles are unsuccessful, it may be worth discussing with your clinic as a possible option.


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