IVF babble spoke to the brilliant Michael Kyriakidis from Embryolab about the dreaded two-week wait and what it means for your physical and mental health as you come towards the end of your IVF cycle…
Michael Kyriakidis is a gynecologist specializing in reproductive medicine and assisted reproduction.
He had training at The Βritish Society for Gynecological Imaging (BSGI) and
Specialization in Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Reproduction at the University of Sheffield and Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
The embryo transfer represents the completion of your treatment. All your efforts are concentrated in a couple of minutes where your embryos will meet their future home. It also marks the beginning of a waiting period that can be very demanding both emotionally as well as physically. Inevitably, this raises several questions. What should a woman do during these two weeks and what should she avoid.
What about my diet? Can I eat whatever I want?
Well, actually, a healthy diet can be the foundation of a good result. The waiting period is a very good opportunity to improve your dietary choices. During this time you should add fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet and increase your protein intake by adding fresh fish and poultry. Don’t forget to include at least eight glasses of water and some multi-vitamin juice.
Should I avoid alcohol completely?
Alcohol can be very harmful to your embryos. There are several reports that associate alcohol consumption during pregnancy with severe congenital abnormalities, behavioral problems and low intelligence. Your embryo transfer is a good chance to stop alcohol all together.
Should I rest or can I be active?
The waiting time for your pregnancy test can be very stressful. By staying at home, always lying in your bed, you only increase your stress levels. Average activities are recommended during this time. Going for a small walk or meeting a friend will help you release the stress and will give you the chance to socialise. On the other hand, excessive exercise and heavy lifting is not beneficial. So avoid extremities.
Can I go swimming in the sea or in a swimming pool?
Swimming can be a very pleasant exercise. However, your waiting period is usually accompanied by the vaginal use of progesterone, the hormone of pregnancy, and water can disrupt its absorption. Also, swimming can cause vaginal and cervical infections which could be in turn influence the final result. Swimming in the sea or in a swimming pool should be avoided during this time.
Can I have sex?
Sexual activity should be avoided at this time. While very pleasant, it can cause mild uterine contractions which in turn could wash your embryo out. So be patient and let your embryos implant.
Major changes to your everyday life are not needed when you are waiting for your pregnancy test and these easy tips may lead to a positive result at the end.
How did you get through the two-week wait? Let us know your top tips and hints, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org