6 Essentials Tips Every Patient Must Know After Embryo Transfer
Here are the answers to some of your burning questions about your ‘two-week wait’ after an embryo transfer!
After all the time, money and psychological capital that you’ve invested, you have finally undergone an embryo transfer and you’re one step closer to becoming parents. Now, the next step is crucial as you undergo a ‘two-week wait’ before you’re able to find out if the procedure has been a successful one.
You must be having a ton of questions running through your mind from, “What if…?” to “Should I…?” or “Should I not…?”. Not knowing the answer to such uncertainties could get you even more stressed up. So, to ease your stress levels, here are answers to some of your burning questions about life after an embryo transfer.
Burning question 1: Can I have sexual intercourse?
If you’ve browsed through the internet for an answer to this question, you’ll find that there are mixed reactions to it.
So, a check with Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist as well as a Fertility Specialist at Alpha Fertility Centre, Dr. Leong Wai Yew, got an expert’s answer to this question. He explained that, “It is not scientifically proven that sex is contraindicated after embryo transfer or in pregnancy. However, contractions of the uterus from orgasm may be a worrying thought.”
As a precaution, Dr. Leong suggests to abstain from sexual intercourse at least till the end of your first trimester of pregnancy.
Burning question 2: Do I need supplements?
Vitamin supplements can help with giving your body a boost in nutrition. Especially if you’re trying to conceive, a healthy body is essential. Some of the supplements which could help includes iron and multivitamins.
“However, if you’re eating a very well-balanced diet, you may not need to worry about supplements at all,” says Dr. Leong. So, it’s best to speak to your fertility specialist especially if you’re not too sure about the type of supplements that are suitable for you. As a matter of fact, eating only supplements approved by your doctor is important because Dr. Leong explains that some supplements may contain herbs or ingredients that are not suitable for a pregnancy.
Burning question 3: When is the best time to do a pregnancy test?
After having an embryo transfer done, you and your partner must be counting the days till you can find out if you have conceived! While we understand the excitement, it is however, best to wait till the recommended time (which is 10 to 14 days) period to conduct a pregnancy test.
The reason why a pregnancy test is not recommended to be conducted earlier than that, is because the results may be inconclusive. Dr. Leong says that, “The important point is an ongoing pregnancy, therefore early blood pregnancy tests would show very low levels, which are inconclusive.”
Hence, to be sure, it is always best to get a green light from your doctor, before proceeding with a pregnancy test.
Burning question 4: Is it okay to exercise?
Going about your daily lifestyle as per usual is recommended during the ‘two-week wait’. So, the good news is, you can still continue to stay active during this period. However, do remember that you should not ‘overdo it’ such as getting involved in strenuous exercises. This includes weight lifting, jogging, racquet games and cycling.
Dr. Leong assures that, “Light exercises such as yoga, stretching, meditation and using light resistance weights should not be an issue.”
Burning question 5: Do I need complete bed rest?
If you were dreading the need for you to stay in bed all day during the next two weeks after undergoing an embryo transfer because ‘your friend told you to do so’, you will not have to worry any longer. Bed rest is not needed for a patient who has recently had an embryo transfer. You just need to have adequate rest and sleep at home particularly in the first 48 hours when the implantation of embryo occurs.
“Strict bed rest is not needed but you should refrain from strenuous activities,” Dr. Leong advices. “Basic domestic errands such as fixing supper or going up and down the staircase at home, is fine. Avoid long shopping trips or long walks in the park.”
Burning question 6: Can I take a shower?
Maintaining your hygiene is important, even during this ‘two week wait’. Hence, having a shower after the procedure is absolutely fine.
Though, soaking yourself in a hot tub or jacuzzi is not recommended. This is because, embryos are sensitive to heat. Hence, elevating your body temperature may affect the chances of the embryo implanting on your uterus.
Burning question 7 : Can I travel?
We advise you not to travel long distances in the first 5 days, and if possible, the first 2 weeks. You may travel long distances after that provided you don’t rush. Also, don’t over exert yourself physically. Avoid going on bumpy roads which may cause jerky movements.
You may experience bloating, nausea, vomiting, pain or shortness of breath. Kindly see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
All in all, remember to stay positive and try your very best to relax during this period of time. Focus on maintaining a good health. Sooner that you know it, the ‘two-week wait’ is almost over and it will be time for you and your partner to finally find out if you have conceived.
If you have any uncertainties about the activities that you’re engaging in, always feel free to discuss with your fertility expert. So, unwind and put your trust in your fertility specialist as he or she will do their very best in making your dream a reality.