The last and most important stage of IVF is the waiting period after the embryo transfer. It lasts 2 weeks – until they can tell you for sure whether you are pregnant or not. The test is done by testing the blood for specific hormones produced by the pregnant woman’s body.
At this point, the hardest part is waiting, because the doctors have already done everything they can, and now your body must accept the embryo itself. Many women who have undergone similar infertility treatment claim that this stage of IVF is the most difficult of all.
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So, what do you do in those 14 days when there is nothing left to do but wait? Many women look for the slightest sign of pregnancy, track dreams, believe in omens… But everyone asks only one question: “Did it work or not?”
There is no single set of rules about how to behave after embryo transfer to make it a success. However, the experience of many women who have undergone IVF, and the opinions of doctors can be useful to you.
Bed rest or activity?
Only for the first 2 hours after embryo transfer a woman should lie down to allow her body to react calmly to the new condition. Even then, only the first 20 minutes are crucial.
And after that you are free to do whatever, you want. Some expectant mothers prefer to lie down for two weeks, although this is not necessary. But if you feel that you need to rest, and you’ll be more relaxed – of course you can lie down. The main thing – do not forget about the fresh air and walks.
Experts from Israel, who currently have the most experience in IVF, recommends women to observe only the first 3 days of bed rest, and then return to the usual way of life. For example, if you are used to working, it is better to continue to do so during those 14 days. The main thing is to avoid serious stress and not to lift weights. It would be ideal if you take a vacation and spend 2 weeks the way you like – walking, talking to friends or devoting to a loved one.
However, if you are used to work, it is better to continue to do so, otherwise you risk getting stuck in thoughts about pregnancy and live in constant stress, which is exactly what you need to avoid.
Good blood supply
A good blood supply is very important for the normal process of conception, especially in the uterine area. However, bed rest is not good for this – it is better to spend time taking quiet walks and sleeping with your legs slightly elevated (you can put them on a pillow for comfort).
During the waiting period, it is very important to drink plenty of water and consume foods that contain protein. Consult your doctor for a more precise diet, but protein consumption is recommended to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation. It is important to avoid carbonated drinks and heavy foods that burden digestion and provoke constipation. You should also avoid caffeine and, of course, alcohol.
Yoga, breathing exercises, all kinds of meditations, etc. can be a good way to combat stress. This is very important, because thanks to such techniques you will find peace and equilibrium, which are just necessary for good health and, consequently, successful IVF.
Tests and signs
Of course, you’ll want to know how successful your IVF cycle is, and you’ll listen to your own body or even try to do a home pregnancy test.
However, don’t rely too much on these methods: breast tension and tugging sensations in the abdomen can be both a sign of PMS and a consequence of ovarian stimulation as part of an IVF cycle.
Tests also cannot give accurate results – even in classic cases, they are not very reliable, and after IVF may be completely useless. This is because different hormones are injected into the woman’s body during the protocol, which may give false results on home tests.
A calm mood and a good mood are very important for the success of IVF. Of course, it can seem difficult, especially if it’s not your first attempt, but there are many ways to keep a positive attitude. If you’re experiencing bad feelings or constant depression, consider seeing a specialist who can help address your concerns. If not, simply surround yourself with good emotions: read books, watch movies, and listen to your favorite music.