Is it safe to have sex after an embryo transfer? An IVF expert answers

Published on: 11 April 2022, 14:11 pm IST

An embryo transfer is a sensitive procedure and you must take a lot of care afterwards. Should you have sex or what should you eat are some questions that an expert has answered just for you!

IVF care
You must follow these do's and don'ts after an embryo transfer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The day of the embryo transfer is one of the most exciting and anticipated times of the entire In-vitro fertilization (IVF) process. The period leading up to the transfer day and the next few weeks is critical and requires maintaining an extremely healthy lifestyle. You will take your prescribed medications and follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter for a successful pregnancy. While it’s normal to get a little impatient to find out if the transfer was successful, there are a few things you can do that may help in the meanwhile. And whether you can have sex after an embryo transfer or not, is also part of the post IVF self-care regime.

How to care after embryo transfer:

Some steps that you can take immediately after the embryo transfer are:

1. Focus on yourself

Contrary to popular belief, the amount of time you lay down after the transfer is not proportional to the success rate. Nevertheless, it is advised to relax and rest for a few days after the embryo transfer. This does not mean that you have to rest all the time and leave everything else. As you have just gone through a vigorous and stressful procedure, you should spend some time doing self-care and pampering yourself. Patience is vital in the process, and practicing meditation and yoga can help you deal with the emotional roller-coaster.

2. Eat your supplements and follow your diet

Embryo transfer gets you a step closer to bringing a new life on the planet. Having a healthy diet during IVF is a must to give proper nutrition to a baby growing inside you, so developing healthy eating habits after embryo transfer is necessary. It is ideal to have a variety of fruits, vegetables, calcium, protein, vitamin B, and iron in your diet. Taking a folic acid supplement daily helps prevent neural tube defects. It also helps in reducing the risk of congenital disabilities in babies.

3. Do not stop taking your prescribed medications

A surprising number of women feel that it is acceptable to abandon the medication they were taking before the embryo transfer. However, it is not recommended to quit medication without consulting your doctor. Progesterone is often used in assisted reproduction like IVF as it helps the embryo stay implanted in the uterus. It is crucial to take progesterone to sustain a pregnancy, and many women are advised to continue taking it even after the embryo transfer to increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. Therefore, even though it might be a struggle to continue taking your medications and injections, it will only lead to better results.

embryo transfer
Don’t put mental pressure on yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) refer to chemicals that disrupt the way your body’s hormones typically work. They also interfere with your baby’s development as they can cross the placenta and become concentrated in the baby’s bloodstream. It is essential to avoid products that contain EDCs like bisphenol A, phthalates, parabens, and triclosan. As these substances are present in various household products, paying closer attention to them after embryo transfer is advised.

5. Avoid sex

Many women wonder if it is safe to have sex after embryo transfer. Just to be safe, it is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse as it can trigger uterine contractions, preventing the embryo from implanting itself into your uterus. Sex after embryo transfer may also lead to a miscarriage which is why it is best to give your body a rest after your embryo transfer. Before you wish to indulge in a sexual activity soon after the transfer, it is best to consult your doctor.

Also Read: Failed IVF? An expert tells you what to do next

sex after IVF
Sex can wait! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Fight the urge to take a pregnancy test right away

Every woman wants to know the result of their embryo transfer as soon as it is done. A woman’s body takes a few weeks from the transfer day to give a reliable pregnancy result. So, instead of taking tests over and over again only to get disappointed, start counting down the days until your next appointment with the doctor so that they confirm the pregnancy.

The takeaways

The biggest battle in the embryo transfer process is to stay calm and hopeful. You will be unnecessarily stressed if you focus too much on the transfer, which is why it is highly recommended that you develop habits that keep you distracted in this waiting period. You should also seek support from your partner, family, friends, and a medical professional if you feel emotionally burdened.

Dr Nivedita Mishra Dr Nivedita Mishra

Dr Nivedita Mishra, IVF and Fertility Specialist, Nova IVF Fertility East, Ranchi

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