The Five Best Ways to Prepare for the Embryo Transfer

The big day is finally here! After days and likely months of planning, you are ready to walk down that aisle—with your embryo. You are probably anxious, excited, scared, nervous, and overwhelmed all at the same time. This ball of emotions can become a snowball of negative energy if you don’t know how best to prepare for the main event. Here are five tips to prepare for the embryo transfer.

  1. Hydrate.
    The bladder and the uterus are very tight. They run in the same circles at all times. We ask you to fill your bladder because it not only allows us to see the uterus with more clarity but also can change the angle of the cervix and uterus (# make the transfer easier!). And while we, too, are type A perfectionists who err on the side of doing more rather than less, we recommend underfilling rather than overfilling your bladder. Overfilled bladders can be uncomfortable and cause your muscles to contract, making the transfer more difficult. And one last word of bladder advice: if you do lose it and let some urine out on the table, don’t worry. You aren’t the first and certainly won’t be the last!
  2. Hear, but don’t listen to the doctor doing the transfer.
    No, we did not write that backwards. We want you to hear the information we give you about the embryo quality, but limit how much you take in. Patients often want to know every detail about embryo grade, embryo quality, embryo survival, and everything else in between. While you should be educated and you should know what’s up, obsessing over your grades in this classroom won’t help. You couldn’t have studied anymore. At this point, it is what it is. There will always be time with the “teacher” in the future to break down the cycle if it doesn’t work!
  3. Valium is a very good thing.
    Valium is not a villain. If you are a ball of nerves or the speculum is Public Enemy #1, taking something to calm you down before the transfer is a good idea. It won’t hurt your chances and might even help.
  4. Keep your eyes on the prize.
    You will be asked to identify your name, your partner’s name, and even your embryo before the transfer is performed. Make sure that the doctor, the nursing staff, and the embryologist identify you. While the endless checkpoints will feel like O’Hare on a bad day, they are not set up to be annoying but to be extra cautious.
  5. Make sure your plus one is one with positive energy.
    There is no rule as to whom you have to bring with you on transfer day. In fact, given that you don’t get anesthesia, you don’t need an escort home. Most women like to bring someone along with them. Whoever you pick, whether it is your plus one, your parent, or your pal you want to make sure they are exuding lots of positive energy. You don’t need any Nelly Negatives around on this day.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t control what happens over the next 48 hours; after a transfer, embryo (s) will bounce around for about 48 hours before it/they implant. Those guys and/or gals are either going to find some good real estate and set up shop or not. If they don’t, try to remember that it was nothing that you did or didn’t do, nothing that you said or didn’t say, and nothing that you ate or didn’t eat. You covered all of your bases. If you don’t hit it out of the park this time, you can take another swing soon.