What to Do Before and After Your Embryo Transfer to Increase IVF Success – What Worked for Me

What to Do Before and After Your Embryo Transfer to Increase IVF Success – What Worked for Me

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I just want to warn you that a lot of these might sound totally crazy. I’ll just throw that out there before I dig into it. But, I know that I did not do any of these things during my failed cycle, and did them ALL for my successful frozen embryo transfer. I’ve said it before, but I wanted to go into my last chance at having another baby without any regrets. That meant doing anything and everything (even the “old wives tales”) that might help my second embryo transfer end in success. I came up with a master list of everything I was going to do to increase ivf success!

A lot of these procedures I did were recommended by my doctor, and a lot of them were definitely things I found by doing a whole lot of research! My whole theory is, if it can’t harm your chances and has been believed to possibly increase ivf success (even if not proven by doctors), then why not try?! What could it hurt? So, here is the long, crazy list of everything I did to ensure my second and final frozen embryo transfer was successful. (I’ll do a separate post on all of the supplements I was on during my successful cycle.)

My Doctor’s Protocol to Increase IVF Success

  • For my second transfer, my doctor wanted to add a few procedures to cover all of our bases.
  • We did an Endometrial Scratch, which we also did with my first transfer but had to repeat since it wasn’t within 8 weeks of my transfer date. The scratch was to remove any polyps and prepare a spot in my uterus for implantation.
  • We also did a Neupogen Uterine Wash to improve my uterine lining before starting Progesterone shots.
  • We did the embryo glue, which we also did with my first transfer.
  • And, last we did 3 Lipid Infusions at specifically times intervals. These ‘Fat IVs’ were recommended because I’m on the smaller side, and the doctor thought it might prepare my body with any essential nutrients I might be missing otherwise.

My Protocol to Increase IVF Success

So, on top of the new protocol set by my doctor, I added my own little protocol to ensure I was doing everything I possibly could to ensure the transfer worked.

  1. Pineapple Core – This is probably the biggest “Old Wives Tale” when it comes to IVF, but I did it anyway. (Why Pineapple? Find Out HERE.) What you do is peel the pineapple and remove the top. Turn the pineapple on its side and cut it into 5 equal sections including the core. Starting the day of your transfer, eat one section per day including the core for 5 days until the pineapple is gone.
  2. Acupuncture – I began acupuncture once every other week about two months before my transfer, and also did it the day of my transfer. (Read more on Acupuncture for IVF HERE.)
  3. Follow a Fertility Diet – For three months before my transfer I really tried to focus more on a fertility friendly diet, which was high in protein and healthy fats with less carbs. My diet was about 40% protein, 35% healthy fats and 25% carbohydrates. The focus was to eat avocado every single day and including these IVF Superfoods. I also quit drinking alcohol one month before my transfer, limited my caffeine to only one or two half-caff. coffees per week, drank warm lemon water every morning, and warm bone broth every night. I created an IVF MEAL PLAN that easily incorporates all of the IVF Superfoods. You can check that out HERE.
  4. Ate and Drank Warm (or Room Temp) Foods Only – This was recommended by acupuncturist to eat and drink only warm or room temperature foods (I even warmed my pineapple to room temperature before eating it.) I also, at least slightly, cooked all veggies and limited totally raw veggies. I did this for about one month before the transfer and continued after the transfer until my pregnancy test.
  5. Wore Socks – This may also be an “Old Wives Tale” but I read that it is important to keep your feet warm. So, for one week before and two weeks after the transfer until my pregnancy test, I wore socks like THESE at all times except to shower. It was not easy to do in Phoenix in August…
  6. Lightly Exercised – I cut down on any intense exercise 1 month before my transfer, but continued to walk every day until my transfer to increase circulation to my uterus. Plus, I think a brisk walk the day of the transfer helped with stress. After the embryo transfer, I was on modified bed rest for 3 days then not allowed to workout or go for walks again until after my pregnancy test. BUT, during my bed rest I made sure to get up and walk to the kitchen or go to the bathroom every 2 hours to keep circulation moving to my uterus.
  7. Slept and Rested on My Left Side – During bed rest I laid on my left side as much as I could because it is supposed to help with circulation to your uterus. You are supposed to sleep on your left side during pregnancy for those reasons, so I continued to sleep on my left side until my pregnancy test.
  8. Laugh! – This was actually recommended by my doctor and every nurse in the clinic! There are studies that show laughing after an embryo transfer increases your chances for implantation. So, the day of the transfer we tried to keep things light-hearted. My Mom watched my toddler while my husband and I laid in bed and watched funny movies all day.
  9. No heavy lifting – After the transfer I was told absolutely no heavy lifting. That is easier said than done when you have a two year old at home, but thankfully my husband was there for the first few days after the transfer and after that I had a couple stools like THESE around the house for her to use to get in and out of the bath, up into bed, etc. to cut down on my actually lifting her all the way.
  10. Don’t Shower Until Three Days After the Transfer. – I did this to ensure I wasn’t over-heating the embryo and keeping it’s environment as steady as possible. Don’t use a heating pad or take baths either! And, when you do finally shower, make sure it isn’t too hot.
  11. Stay. Off. Of. Google. – SO IMPORTANT. It will cause SO much stress. You’re going to want to Google every tiny twinge and semi-symptom. Just don’t do it. It just adds to the stress and you’ll psych yourself out. Try to keep your mind clear and stress-free.
  12. Stay Stress Free – This ties in with what I said above, and is easier said than done. But, I truly believe if you go into this with a confident, stress-free approach it will help increase ivf success. Write down some positive affirmations to repeat to yourself. Or, look through positive quotes when you feel yourself stressing out or worrying. Positive Affirmations are great way to overcome the stressful moments and get you through to that pregnancy test. My doctor also recommended Natural Calm to help manage stress during my treatment. I also came up with some great positive IVF Affirmations that you can print HERE.

So, there you have it! You think I’m crazy now, right?! Well, whatever I did worked and I’m now 31 weeks pregnant with my baby boy. Whatever you plan to do to increase IVF success, go into it confidently and believe it is going to work. It makes all the difference in the world to feel like you’re doing everything you can to make it work. IVF is hard, and at times feels unbearable. Preparing yourself mentally, having a plan going into it, and believing it is going to happen makes all the difference. What did you do differently during your successful cycle? Let me know in the comments below. Good luck in your journey!

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4 responses to “What to Do Before and After Your Embryo Transfer to Increase IVF Success – What Worked for Me”

  1. Courtney Knight

    I’m going to try all of these!! I just got a call today that we have one healthy embryo ready for implantation. It was our third ivf round. I’ve never made it to implantation, so I’ll take all the advice I can get!

    1. FertileFoods

      Oh my gosh! Congrats and Good Luck!

  2. Sue

    I wish I had seen this article before, as my egg retrieval is tomorrow?. I will try to incorporate these from now on! Thank you!!!

  3. Kirry

    Thank you so much for all this research, I’m just starting out on our IVF journey (in the UK) and it’s reassuring to know that I’m not mental when I’m fully down for using all the old wives tales!

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