What to expect during IVF transfer
Are you getting ready for IVF transfer day? Are you not sure what to expect? Here’s what will happen during your IVF transfer day…
There’s nothing more stressful or anxiety inducing than the day of your embryo transfer.
It is such an emotionally charged day: it’s essentially your baby on the outside of your body being put back into your uterus.
It’s a single day that, in a way, decides the entire outcome of your whole IVF treatment – will it be successful or unsuccessful?
Also, IVF transfer day is your pregnancy happening in a way that is completely different to how you imagined making your baby would happen. Nobody pictures it happening like this when they decide to try for a baby.
It can be a strange, emotional day. You want nothing more than it to work and to get pregnant – but the very act itself can feel unnatural and weird.
…That’s why it’s useful for you to understand how the process works ahead of time so you can be prepared.
The day and procedure itself is not difficult for the fertility clinic or your IVF doctors – but there are definitely some important physical and mental preparations you can do to make sure it’s not a day that’s difficult for you.
First, how does the process work?
Embryo transfer is a simple procedure, and the final step that follows in vitro fertilization.
This is the part of your IVF treatment where your fertilized egg is going to be put back into your uterus in the hopes that implantation will take place.
They will place a catheter into your uterus and take the embryo from the lab, and use a syringe to insert it into your uterus. All the while, you can watch the whole thing happening on an ultrasound next to you.
You even get a picture to take home (which is awesome)!
The procedure itself is quite straightforward, and not challenging whatsoverfor the doctors and experts involved – and the hard part has already been done.
Nevertheless, it’s still a big day.
What happens when you walk in?
First of all, your appointment is usually scheduled for 30-60 minutes before the transfer is due to take place.
This is to give you time to arrive at the clinic, get prepared and for the doctors to make sure the embryo has been given enough time to thaw.
You’ll be brought into a room to meet with the embryologist so you can go over the process. Then you will move into the transfer room and disrobe from the waist down.
As long as the doctor is ready and everything is running on time the procedure will take some minutes and once the transfer is done they will let you rest for about 25-30 minutes.
After that you’re allowed to go home.
How long does it take?
Depending on delays and whether or not you’re going to do acupuncture, you should expect to be at the clinic for 1.5-2 hours.
Incorporating acupuncture will absolutely add on some time especially if you’re doing it both before and after the procedure.
Key things to consider
There are 3 key points that I think you should consider, ask questions about or know before you walk in.
How full (or not full) your bladder should be is dependent on your clinic.
Some offices want your bladder to be extremely full when you arrive on your IVF transfer day. This is because your bladder sits on top of your uterus, and, when it’s full, it presses down and opens it up.
This is useful because this is where they want to place the embryo.
This can be quite uncomfortable for you if it’s something your clinic expects you to do. You’re going to feel a lot of pressure from having to hold a full bladder for such an amount of time. (Don’t be surprised if after the procedure they insert a catheter to empty your bladder).
Most offices keep all of their procedure rooms very cold.
Make sure you come prepared with a warm jacket and some cosy socks (although sometimes they do give you some).
Just make sure you’re going to be warm – yes you’re going to be de-robed from the waist down but we want the rest of you (especially your feet) to be nice and warm.
Why is it important to have warm feet on IVF transfer day? Because warm feet support your chances for a more successful, healthy implantation after the procedure.
Most offices don’t even think about having some nice, relaxing, soft music for you in the room.
So make sure you come prepared with your phone, your favorite music app, a set of headphones and an IVF playlist that you’ve pre-set up for the day!
If you like meditation, bring some meditation recordings ready for the day too.
Research shows that women in support groups have higher IVF success rates
Those are my tips for you on how you can make your IVF transfer day more successful.
Most of us need a little bit more support with our IVF journeys.
If you’re going through IVF, thinking about IVF or in the middle of IVF, you should check out my IVF group support program.