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Embryo Transfer

We know that every embryo does not become a baby. Here are some of the things you can do to maximise chances of success. 

So you've had an embryo transplant, but still do not conceive. It is normal to blame yourself for something you may or may not have done during this time. Therefore, try not to do anything for which you will blame yourself if you do not get pregnant. In general practice the following guidelines:

  • No tub baths or swimming for 48 hours after embryo transfer.
  • No douching or wearing tampons. 
  • No intercourse or orgasms until the fetal heartbeat is seen on ultrasound, or the pregnancy test is negative.
  • No excessive physical activity such as jogging, aerobics, or tennis.
  • No non-prescription medications or other prescribed medications without the approval of your doctor.
  • No heavy lifting.
  • You may return to "work" after 24 hours of bed rest (getting up for bathroom and meals only) and one to two days of light activity.

Doctors used to advise "strict bed rest" after an embryo transfer. However, remember that physical activity does not affect your chances of getting pregnant. Resting when you are well can be very emotionally taxing, and we encourage patients to lead as normal a life as possible. 

After a transplant, there are numerous stages which must be reached and completed before conception.

  • More than one egg should develop.
  • Eggs should mature.
  • Ovulation should not occur before the eggs can be collected.
  • Eggs must be retrieved during the "pick-up".
  • Sperm must fertilize at least one egg
  • Fertilized eggs must divide and grow healthily.
The embryos might get implanted in the uterus.

Think of it as a series of hurdles, all of which have to be cleared, in order to win the race!

Maximizing Chances for Success


  • Avoid all medications. If you are taking other prescription medications check with your doctor prior to beginning your treatment cycle. 
  • No smoking or alcohol use. Studies show both can result in lower pregnancy rates and a greater risk of miscarriage. Why put yourself through this if you are not doing everything YOU can to insure your success.
  • No more than two caffeinated beverages per day.
  • Avoid change in diet or weight loss or fad diets during IVF cycle. A healthy well balanced diet works best.
  • Refrain from intercourse three to four days prior to egg retrieval and following embryo replacement until the pregnancy test has been done. 
  • Normal exercise may continue unless enlargement of your ovaries produces discomfort.
  • Avoid hot tubs or saunas.


  • Fever greater than 100.4o one to two months prior to IVF treatment may adversely affect sperm quality. Be sure to let your doctor know. If you are sick, please take your temperature and report any febrile illnesses. 
  • Sitting in hot tubs and saunas is not recommended. Even a single episode in a hot tub can adversely affect sperm function. Please refrain from this for at least three months prior to treatment.
  • Drugs, alcohol, and cigarette smoking should be avoided for three months prior to treatment and at all times during the ongoing IVF treatment cycle to get the best results.
Abstain from intercourse for at least three days, but not more than seven days prior to collection of semen for egg collection and during treatment.

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