What you should pay attention after an embryo transfer

Last updated date: 18-Jul-2021

Acibadem Atakent Hospital

4 mins read

You should necessarily comply with following rules in order to avoid an adverse event after in vitro fertilization therapy.

Do I need to rest at bed after an embryo transfer?

Necessity of regular rest in bed after an embryo transfer is the most important source of confusion in the in vitro fertilization therapies. Although there are major difference between the natural conception and the in vitro fertilization pregnancies, embryo falls into the endometrial cavity following the fertilization and follow similar processes before the implantation. Endometrium is very appropriate for the implantation of the embryo that has ignorable weight; the inclination is same while the patient is standing still or lying in the bed. A Spanish study conducted in 2011 reported that rates of conception and birth of a living fetus are higher in the group of no-bed-rest relative to the group of bed rest after the embryo transfer. Similarly, it is necessary to keep in mind that continuous bed rest will have negative effects on bowel habits and psychology of the patient. Physicians advise to maintain routine activities of daily life after the embryo transfer.

Exercise after embryo transfer

Medications used for in vitro fertilization therapy cause abnormal enlargement of ovaries. Sudden movements may lead to ovarian torsion (twisting of the ovary around itself) that causes the risk of impaired circulation or collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity and makes the body vulnerable to the side effects of the in vitro fertilization. Excessive activity may aggravate the pain. Therefore, too much activity and sports that may cause trauma to the abdomen should be avoided after the transfer. Swimming and other sports that require mild activity can be done, provided they are approved by the doctor. Walking or jogging is not contraindicated. These risks do not apply to frozen embryo transfer.

Sexual intercourse after embryo transfer

Oocyte pick-up is performed through the vaginal canal in the in vitro fertilization therapy. Sexual intercourse after this procedure may cause discomfort or pose risk of infection. Excessive enlargement of ovaries due to the medications used in the in vitro fertilization therapy may lead to conditions that require non-elective surgery, such as ovarian torsion, and the abdominal sensitivity secondary to the fluid collection may make the sexual intercourse risky. Moreover, it is necessary to avoid sexual intercourse while vaginal progesterone is used. Sexual intercourse may be allowed, after conception is verified and heart beats are monitored. Sexual intercourse or orgasm is not contraindicated for the frozen embryo transfer on a natural cycle.

Risk of miscarriage is too low in frozen embryo transfer

Compared to the natural conception, abnormal hormone levels in the in vitro fertilization therapy leads to abnormalities in the implantation of the embryo. The vulnerability is higher if excessive oocyte pick-up is performed and in this case, the risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery increases approximately two folds. These risks do somewhat not apply to the frozen embryo transfer.

Bleeding after in vitro fertilization

Bleeding may be heavier and may last longer after the in vitro fertilization therapy secondary to the medications and high hormone levels. However, bleeding will normalize in the next menstrual cycle. The approach to the bleeding in natural pregnancy should be adopted for the bleeding that develops after an in vitro fertilization therapy. It is usually necessary to increase dose of progesterone for such bleeding.

Tests to be analyzed after in vitro fertilization therapy

Pregnancy hormone is assayed in blood 10 to 12 days after the transfer. The test is usually repeated two days later. The expected rate is 50 percent or above. Abnormal values may require supervision regarding ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Routine pregnancy tests should be analyzed in addition to this test, if there is no special condition.

Use of medicines after in vitro fertilization

For fresh embryo transfers, progesterone is used for luteal support or other medicines are used to activate the corpus luteum – a structure that secretes progesterone. For frozen embryo transfer, estrogen and progesterone can be used depending on the treatment regimen. No medicine is used if the frozen embryo is transferred on a natural cycle. Folic acid supplementation may be required before or at the onset of the conception. A positive contribution could not be proven for other medicines used in the treatment.


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