In Vitro Fertilisation, popularly referred as IVF has captured attention since its sensational introduction in 1978. IVF has 2 important steps – first is embryo formation and second is embryo transfer. For embryo formation first female partner is given few injections and then eggs are retrieved. These eggs are then fertilised with sperms of male partner and the embryos thus formed are cultured inside the laboratory. Once the embryos have formed, they are then placed inside the uterus of female partner – this procedure is known as EMBRYO TRANSFER.
Embryo transfer procedure is stressful yet an exciting milestone in the fertility treatment. 2 weeks after EMBRYO TRANSFER, a blood test is done to determine success or failure of IVF cycle. For patients undergoing IVF this “two week” wait period POST EMBRYO TRANSFER is most stressful and difficult time. The commonest thing the couples want to know is what to do POST EMBRYO TRANSFER to increase success rate of their IVF cycle. Well there is no specific answer to this question but here are some points which might make this two weeks journey a little less stressful for the couple.
1.IS BED REST ESSENTIAL?
The answer is NO. It is a myth that bed rest after embryo transfer increases suc-cess rate of IVF. In fact, research has shown that patients who do complete bed rest have less success in IVF as compared to patients who continue to do their routine activities. Main reason behind this is that patients who keep themselves engaged in some activities have less stress levels which helps in increasing their IVF success.
2. HOW MUCH ACTIVITY CAN I DO?
You should continue to do your day to day activities and simple house hold chores like cooking, dusting. You can take stroll round your park and go out for dinner or lunch with your partner and spend time with family and friends.Working females can join back their work after a couple of days.
3. IS INTERCOURSE RESTRICTED AFTER EMBRYO TRANSFER?
No. Sex does not have any effect on IVF success rate however many couples refrain from having sex after embryo transfer by their own choice.
4. WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE RESTRICTED THEN?
It is important that one should take adequate rest also after embryo transfer. Vigorous exercises, lifting heavy weights, long journeys should be avoided. Outdoor activities and sports should be avoided. In short any activity that can physically exhaust the female should be avoided.
5. AVOID EXTREME TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Extremes of temperatures are not good for the developing embryos and early pregnancy. Hence avoid having hot water baths, sauna, heat pads and wearing tight cloths.
6.WHAT KIND OF DIET IS BEST AFTER EMBRYO TRANSFER?
This is the most common question that couples ask after embryo transfer. Our usual answer to this question is “EAT WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO EAT WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT”. Follow small meals in frequent intervals to avoid acidity and bloating. Drink plenty of fluids. Meal plan should include fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. Avoid junk and spicy foods. One should avoid caffeine, alcohol and other carbonated beverages.
7.NOT TO FORGET YOUR MEDICATIONS
It is really Important to follow your advice of your fertility experts and to continue taking supportive medications like folic acid and hormonal supplements. These medications are vital for implantation and growth of embryos. The dose chart should be followed regularly.
8.STAY HAPPY: DON’T TAKE STRESS
The most important advice POST EMBRYO TRANSFER is to stay happy and to spend quality time with family and friends during this dreaded two weeks wait. Do things that keep you happy like watching your favourite movies and listing to music and any of your favourite pastime.
9. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER AND MEDICINES
It is a good idea to keep emergency contact number of your clinic handy so that you can contact them when in need. Clinics can also provide you with list of safe medicines that you can take during this time period for common problems like headache, constipation, acidity. DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR.
10. WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF BLEEDING OR SPOTTING
Some patients might experience spotting or bleeding after embryo transfer. In such case one should not panic as it does not affect IVF success rate. Many a times it can be implantation bleeding which means embryo is getting attached to the lining of your uterus. In any case one should continue medicines and contact their fertility clinic.
To conclude there is no specific answer to this question as to what makes an IVF cycle successful. One can follow these small pieces of advice to overcome that stressful journey with as little stress as possible. No matter what the outcome is try to accept it , move on, stay positive and never give up the hope of parenthood for success comes to those who keep on trying.
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