So, after the ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo development, you are now having your embryo transferred into your uterus. As soon as the 5-minute procedure ends (similar to a smear test in terms of discomfort), you are entering a 2-week wait period to see if you have an established pregnancy or not. It will probably seem like the longest and most stressful 2 weeks you have ever gone through in your life. We feel you. During these 14 days, many conflicting emotions will succeed one another and the anxiety might make you worry and question about things you normally would not care much. But, you are too valuable and cherished to us to let you go through this alone. To try to relieve some of this burden off your shoulders, Team Miracle and Dr. Firdevs have compiled this list of things to do and what to expect after an ivf embryo transfer, so you have more peace of mind and positive thoughts about the outcome.
Q: When can I leave the clinic ?
A: You will need to remain flat on your back for about an hour after the embryo transfer. As soon as the procedure is completed, you will be taken back to your private room (no walking – you will be wheeled there from the procedure room). You will be able to return back home the same day. You may also drive your way home without worrying about anything. If you are flying, though, we recommend you take the next day’s flight.
Q: Are there any discomforts I should know about ?
A: Depends on how you feel about having a bedpan. Many patients feel self-conscious or embarrassed to empty their bladder using a bedpan. However, you should not look at it as an embarrassing moment rather than a means to help release the tension in your bladder and feel more comfortable right after the embryo transfer.
You see, the sound waves of a trans-abdominal ultrasound can give us a much better view of your uterus so Dr. Firdevs finds the optimal place to position a catheter and implant the embryo while also monitoring the transfer, if they travel through fluid. For that reason, Dr. Firdevs requires your bladder to be the fullest possible before the initiation of the transfer. There is no reason to feel unnecessarily uncomfortable when you can actually get help from our trained medical staff. It is our duty to make sure you not only receive the best fertility treatment per you case but also utmost care while in our premises and until the birth of your child and beyond.
Q: I don’t know what to do after I leave the clinic. Who should I ask ?
A: No need to ask anybody. Dr. Firdevs will give you detailed, personalised post-transfer instructions after you are released from the Cyprus IVF Clinic. However, since we don’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach, each set of instructions vary per case and medical history and we can only list here some pointers applied to the majority cases. So, unless advised otherwise, you can return to your everyday endeavours 48 hours after the transfer as long as they don’t involve:
- Heavy weight lifting
- Demanding physical activities (i.e.
- Submerging into water (i.e. have a tub bath or swim)
- The use of tampons or a bidet.
- Activities that can increase your core temperature (i.e. saunas and hot baths).
- The intake of recreational medications.
- The consumption of alcohol.
That aside, you can go shopping or do light household chores, return to work, and continue living life as before the transfer. When it comes to having sex we recommend you do not have sexual intercourse until we hear the heartbeat of the embryo at your next scheduled ultrasound.
Q: I am afraid to walk after the transfer out of fear my embryo falls out. Is that possible ?
A: Absolutely not. We often hear our patients confess that they are extremely careful when walking around because they are afraid they might jeopardise the success of IVF. There is really no need to stress yourself like that. Embryos do not just fall out of a woman’s uterus. Otherwise, how many women do you think could actually get pregnant and give birth to a child?
That aside, your embryo is smaller than a spec of dust and is enclosed in the safe environment of the uterus. In spontaneous pregnancy, the egg waits to be fertilised by the sperm at the fallopian tubes. When the sperm finally makes it through its long journey through the vaginal tract and all the way to the tube and fertilises the egg, the tiny embryo travels towards the uterus where it’s implanted. In IVF, we fertilise the egg outside the uterus and place the embryo at its end destination.
If there is no chance an embryo falls out of the uterus in a spontaneous pregnancy, there is also no chance it falls out with IVF.
Q: I have some spotting. Should I worry ?
A: Many women have a little spotting after the embryo transfer, which could also occur several days after the procedure. Considering that your body has undergone quite a lot before the final embryo transfer process (i.e. hormones, injections, egg retrieval, stress), some spotting is anticipated. In fact, you should expect to have a little spotting if you are having progesterone supplements.
Another reason you might be spotting is because of a minor injury to the lining of the cervix, where we had passed the catheter through. Nothing to worry about here, too. It will pass in a couple of days at the most.
Finally, spotting might be implantation spotting. This is good news and means that the embryo implants into the uterine lining. The color of this type of spotting is either light pink or dark brown. However, the absence of spotting should NOT raise any red flags. It does not mean that the implantation has failed. It all has to do with the way your body reacts to various conditions.
Q: Are there any very early symptoms of pregnancy during the 2-week wait, besides implantation bleeding ?
A: Considering the fact that many of the symptoms that indicate early pregnancy and the onset of a menstrual period are the same, interpreting the early symptoms of pregnancy is very difficult, if at all possible, especially among patients n supplemental progesterone.
Having that noted, some very early pregnancy symptoms could include upset stomach or nausea (although more common in the 3rd week of pregnancy) and headaches that are the result of a sudden surge in hormones in your body as it prepares itself to protect and nourish the embryo. However, stress could also be behind your headaches. Fatigue is also another indicator of early pregnancy and could range from feeling a bit tired to totally worn out.
Other early pregnancy symptoms are:
• Breast Changes – If you notice swelling, tenderness or soreness of the breasts, it could mean you are pregnant. It could feel as if your bra feels different or even see more blue veins in their breasts, although this is something that occurs at a later stage of pregnancy.
• Excessive Thirst – It is a symptom often noted by pregnant women going through the 2-week wait period. This could be attributed to the increase of your metabolic rate and the fact that your body prepares itself to increase your blood volume by 50% to cover the demands of a growing embryo. To be able to do so, it needs water! So, excessive thirst and frequent urination are both considered potentially early symptoms of pregnancy.
• Increased Basal Body Temperature – When you are pregnant, your basal body temperature remains higher than normal for a longer period of time. However, by the time you can measure basal body temperature (18 days after ovulation) to check how high it is, you will already have done a home pregnancy test.
The most secure way to decipher the meaning of your symptoms is to be aware of how you usually feel before the onset of your period. Any symptoms different from your normal ones could be a strong indication of pregnancy. So, the absence of symptoms you usually have or the presence of symptoms you usually don’t have during your menstrual period can be indicators of pregnancy during this 2-week wait. If you have all these symptoms before your period, then you will just have to wait for a pregnancy test.
Q: Why do I have cramps? Is it normal ?
A: Mild cramping that starts a short while before or during spotting is a common symptom among some patients having undergone embryo transfer. Although not every patient has cramps, if you do, it won’t be a long-lasting (mild) discomfort. It’s your body adjusting to the new situation. And, no, don’t think that it could be the embryo causing disruption in the lining of the uterus, causing the cramps. The embryo is too tiny to do that and please don’t allow yourself to live in constant worry about everything. Undeniably, the 2-week wait period tests the nerves and patience of women that have had an embryo transfer. But, you are not alone. Team Miracle is here to help. Our patient coordinators and medical staff can answer all your questions, ease your worries, and support you not only during this 14-day period but well before and after it. So, don’t feel withdrawn from contacting us if your question is not answered here!
For any additional questions or information about the post embryo transfer period or anything related to your IVF treatment, please do contact us.