Ways to prepare and improve success rates
Many intended parents ask for pre-embryo transfer tips to maximize chances for success. We have found that the best things patients can do before their embryo transfer are to follow directions and feel confident and comfortable with the process. That’s it! There is no secret formula to guaranteeing success. Here are three general tips we have learned in our decades of experience that can maximize your success and as you prepare for this exciting culmination of your fertility journey.
Pre-Embryo Transfer Tip #1: Follow Your Medication Directions Closely
A successful embryo transfer involves a lot of carefully controlled hormone levels to prepare your body. It’s important to take all your medications exactly as prescribed. Read (and reread!) your prescription instructions, stock up on supplies and refills, and ask your fertility team if you have any questions. We’re here to help you figure out what methods work best for you to manage the necessary medications and maximize your success. This might look like setting an alarm, tying your medication to certain daily activities (such as brushing your teeth), or asking a partner, friend, or other loved one to help you stay consistent with your medication.
Pre-Embryo Transfer Tip #2: Be Prepared
The day of the embryo transfer is exciting and emotional! Here are some tips to prepare beforehand so you can feel comfortable and confident:
- Ask questions in advance to make sure you know what to expect, such as: Who will be in the room during the procedure? Can you bring a support person with you? Can the clinic play your favorite music in the room? What are your clinic’s recommendations for after the procedure?
- Read your clinic’s embryo transfer directions closely: Expert tip – Ask your partner or friend to read them as well, just to make sure you don’t miss anything or make assumptions.
- Give yourself lots of time to get to the clinic: If you have a long drive, consider staying at a hotel nearby for the night before the transfer. Planning for traffic or unexpected weather can make your experience more pleasant and streamlined.
- Prepare for all outcomes before the transfer: Of course we hope that every transfer will be a success, but it’s useful to have a plan in place for either outcome before you take that pregnancy test about 10 days after the transfer. This 10-day waiting period can be an emotional roller coaster, and having a clear knowledge of what to do and what to expect can help provide a sense of calm and stability. Ask your fertility team about what the next steps are for either outcome.
Preparation can make a huge difference in your level of comfort and confidence during the procedure. The embryo transfer must happen within a specific window of time, and you don’t want heavy traffic or a missed instruction to delay what you have worked so hard towards.
Pre-Embryo Transfer Tip #3: Come with a Full Bladder
This tip may seem simplistic, but we’ve found it makes a significant difference in our patient’s comfort and success! A full bladder provides the best angle for inserting the catheter into the uterus and guiding it via ultrasound to place the embryo, providing a more comfortable and successful experience. We note this in our patient instructions, so this tip is another reason why it’s important to follow directions! And don’t worry – you can go to the bathroom right after the transfer without any risk of the embryo “falling out.”
These simple tips can help manage feelings of nervousness or anxiety before the embryo transfer and create a more streamlined transfer experience. The embryo transfer is an amazing, exciting, emotional moment! We are here to support you with a variety of resources before, during, and after your procedure. For a comprehensive guide to the entire embryo transfer process, check out Dr. Shahine’s very informative blog post, as well as her videos for before, during, and after the embryo retrieval.
Your embryo transfer reflects months, maybe even years of hard work and commitment to your family-building goal. We work with each of our patients to maximize their individual chances of success. To take your step on a personalized and caring fertility journey, make an appointment today.