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What to expect after the embryo transfer?
It is tough to say what is harder for those who have undergone an IVF treatment – the procedure of IVF itself or the time after the embryo transfer, and the time until being able to do a pregnancy test. The embryo transfer is the final step of an IVF treatment. At this stage, the anticipation reaches the highest peak and it can cause stressful moments, which is fully understandable.
Embryo transfer is followed up with twelve days of waiting to do a pregnancy test. Even though it doesn’t seem to be a long time, for those who have experienced that, it can seem like an eternity. This eternity for the patients is like walking a foggy road. A lot of concerns, a lot of questions and fears can show up on this road.
Fortunately, we can tell you what you can expect during these two weeks and help you prepare. We would like to keep you informed about all the symptoms that you might experience while waiting for taking the test and what to do and don’t do to increase the chances of a positive pregnancy test.
Moreover, we would like to emphasize the fact that the worries won’t make it better. On the other side, what can make it better is to be properly informed, and full of hope for the best result after the long period of struggling and worrying.
Stay with us and learn what you can expect after the final step of an IVF treatment.
First, let’s make sure what is an embryo transfer
Embryo transfer is the step that finalizes the IVF treatment. The embryo transfer consists of two steps – consultation and final transfer of the embryo to the woman’s uterus.
Consultation and choosing the embryo for transfer
On the embryo transfer day, our EuroCARE IVF Doctor informs you about the number and quality of your embryos. Our patients and the EuroCARE IVF Medical Team discuss the embryos that should be transferred. The best quality embryo is chosen and the procedure for transfer can be started.
Upon the request of the intended parent(s), there are tests that can be performed to evaluate the genetic quality of the embryo, or furthermore, to determine the gender of the embryo. These tests, such as preimplantation genetic screening can be used for gender selection before the final transfer.
If you have extra embryos to freeze, then we can freeze them for future use in case needed or if your husband does not have time to travel to Cyprus again, he can have his sperm frozen.
This consultation is significant because it gives the couple the chance to understand the embryo transfer process and possible outcomes, as well as the possibility to choose the best quality embryo/s.
The actual embryo transfer procedure
The aim of this step of the IVF procedure is to facilitate conception following fertilization. This step takes place usually 3 or 5 days after the egg retrieval. The day of embryo transfer depends on the development, number, quality of your embryos and the treatment selected.
The following embryo transfers are most commonly performed at our clinic:
Fresh embryo transfer
This procedure is the most common when an IVF cycle is performed for the first time. This transfer is done shortly after fertilization is completed. On egg retrieval day, microinjection is done and we inform you about the number of fertilized embryos on day 1 after the egg retrieval. For example, if 12 mature eggs are retrieved, we microinject the sperm on 12 mature eggs – this is day zero. One day after the egg retrieval day is day 1 of embryos. On this day we inform you about the number of embryos that reached day 1. We transfer embryo/s three or five days after the egg retrieval. During these days, we expect the embryos to be compact, developed to 8th cell and blastocyst stage.
After the most quality and success- promising embryo is chosen, the embryo is placed into a woman’s uterus with a catheter. The fertility doctor uses ultrasound to guide the procedure. This procedure is very similar to a pap smear – simple and non-invasive. There is no need to use sedation or anesthesia during embryo transfer, but we can perform it per patient’s request.
Frozen embryo transfer
This type of embryo transfer is specific for an IVF cycle that is not performed for the first time. Usually, after the first IVF cycle, if there are several embryos that can successfully develop into a healthy pregnancy, some of them can be frozen and available for future use. The procedure of the transfer itself does not differ much from the previous one. The only difference is in the step prior to the transfer – thawing the embryo. For frozen embryo transfer, the woman does not need to use hormonal injections. We just prepare her endometrium lining for the embryo transfer and duration of her stay in Cyprus is only 3 days.
Transfer of embryo in the blastocyst stage
In certain cases, the transfer of an embryo in the blastocyst stage is more recommended. Those cases are usually couples who have experienced implantation failures. Transfer of embryo in the blastocyst stage can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy because it shows us that the embryos are visual quality and can develop well until day five (blastocyst stage).
Embryo transfer with performed Assisted Hatching (AH)
This is also a type of embryo transfer that is recommended for cases with implantation failure. For this transfer, the embryo has to undergo a procedure of weakening the outer layer, which will help with its hatching and implantation. This procedure is usually recommended as an addition when the transfer of a frozen embryo is about to be performed.
What follows after the embryo transfer?
Embryo transfer might be the last and final step from the IVF treatment, but not the last step of your pregnancy journey. Between the completion of the embryo transfer process and doing the first pregnancy test after IVF treatment, there are several events that have to take place.
Rest at the clinic and travel home
After the embryo transfer, the patient should rest for 30 minutes at the clinic. EuroCARE IVF medical team would perform the final check-up before releasing the patient. So, if you decide on your fertility treatment in North Cyprus, you can freely travel home one day after the embryo transfer.
Two weeks wait
Approximately two weeks after the embryo transfer, you can learn is if the result is positive or not. Well, of course not just waiting and hoping for the best results neither stressing and overthinking the IVF outcome.
This is a crucial event that should happen at the beginning during the two weeks’ wait. Usually, it takes place in the first two days after the transfer. Implantation is a process based on the non-disrupted development of the embryo and its cell division. Also, in order to be successful, the implantation requires mutual interaction between the embryo and the endometrium.
If the embryo implants, it will continue its development. The placenta cells will start to produce the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG). This hormone indicates that implantation has been completed and supports the embryo growing.
So, in the next couple of sections we would like to familiarize you with the do’s and don’ts during these two weeks and the potential symptoms you should be ready for.
Tips for successful embryo transfer and implantation
The success of IVF treatment, including the embryo transfer and the implantation itself, depends on the discipline and dedication of the patient too. After the embryo transfer, there is not much to do to ensure the successful implantation, but still, there are some tips to avoid possible risks.
There are particular actions that should be taken, or not, in order to provide the optimal and friendly condition for the embryo development.
So, let’s dig into them.
Provide yourself proper mental and physical rest
As implantation usually happens one to two days after the embryo transfer, fertility experts recommend that these days should be spent relaxing and self-caring.
This doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours laying, but keeping away from stressful situations might be useful. As soon as you find yourself in the comfort of your home, put on a warm tea, take the horizontal and maybe apply some meditation technique.
If you have a physically hard job or, the job position you have is very stressful, then it would be nice to take a day off.
So all in all, allow yourself a little bit of pampering, a lot of relaxing and don’t forget to laugh!! Keep the body-mind connection strong and positive!
Disciplined medication taking
Before you leave the facilities of EuroCARE IVF, our fertility experts will give you instructions together with the medication list. This medication list should be strictly followed. Skipping medications can result in bleeding or other side effects that can harm your chances of successful implantation and pregnancy.
Avoid overly heated environments
It is highly recommended to avoid the heat during these two weeks. That means, avoid hot baths, saunas, heated car seats, heating pads or anything that can increase the uterus’s temperature. The overly heated uterus can result in many negative outcomes, such as miscarriage, neural tubes in the fetus or other pregnancy complications.
Watch your exercising
As we said, bed rest is not the best solution after the embryo transfer. Even though, too much exercising can harm your pregnancy too. Easy and light exercise, such as yoga, light jogging or spinning can be considered. Heavy lifting should be avoided, at least in the two weeks wait.
Focus your thoughts somewhere else
Thinking about the outcome after the two weeks won’t help either. It is better to focus your thoughts elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to continue working normally, start a new project, start a new relaxing hobby.
What symptoms after the transfer can be expected, and why not to be afraid if they appear
Post transfer period can be specific by several symptoms that vary from woman to woman. We are going to list and explain the most common ones here.
These symptoms can cause confusion and fear because they might indicate also a menstrual cycle. It is hard to distinguish whether they are due to the implantation or menstrual cycle. These symptoms after an IVF cycle should not be considered as a sign of the coming period.
Within these symptoms can be found:
- Mild cramping and pelvic discomfort (The most common one)
- Spotting or light bleeding
- Feeling bloated and pelvic tenderness (Usually because of fluid accumulated around ovaries due to fertility medications)
These symptoms are also symptoms of successful implantation, especially the spotting. If you notice spotting on the second or third day from the transfer, you may call it as “implantation bleeding”. The mild cramping can be a result of the egg retrieval procedure.
Still, if you consider that the spotting is closer to more serious bleeding, or cramps are stronger and they don’t settle with normal pain killers, you should contact you EuroCARE IVF team in North Cyprus.
Most importantly, please do not draw conclusions on your own! Contact your fertility doctor at Eurocare IVF for whatever you consider abnormal.
Do you still have questions related to embryo transfer or infertility?
IVF Cyprus is a great option if you’re struggling with building a family. EuroCARE’s success rates are one of the proofs of our efficiency. Another characteristic of EuroCARE’s team is our willingness to help and our availability to offer you advice not only within our facility. If you are bothered with questions about infertility, infertility treatments or other fertility-related topics, we are proud to offer you free consultation physically, on-line or anyhow that would fit you best!
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