Preparing for Your Frozen Embryo Transfer

prepping for frozen embryo transfer

Preparing for Your Frozen Embryo Transfer

You’ve arrived at such a momentous occasion: your frozen embryo transfer (FET) day. For some patients, this is a second IVF attempt using frozen embryos from their first fresh embryo cycle. For others, embryos were frozen so you could participate in preimplantation genetic testing to select the most viable embryos or because you mapped this date from the beginning as the best time to get pregnant and start your family.

Regardless, it’s natural to feel nervous and excited as you learn all about the process and what you need to do as you prepare for FET day.

Prepare Yourself for Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Day

Just as you worked hard to prepare your body for pregnancy, self-TLC is of the essence as you prepare for the transfer appointment. Do your best to:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before (easier said than done, but worth it)
  • Have your favorite relaxation/guided meditations at the read to remain stress-free
  • Eat a healthy breakfast & hydrate

That last step – hydrating – is important because we need you to arrive with a full bladder.

What to Expect on Transfer Day

Your menstrual cycle has been intentionally synced so that your uterus and endometrial lining are at their most optimal for receiving an embryo. That’s the day we’ll schedule your FET.

Things to remember:

  • Arrive on time. If you have to travel more than an hour or so, we recommend staying in a hotel the night or two before the procedure, so you don’t have to worry about the weather, traffic, or other unpredictable transportation factors.
  • Make sure you have a ride home: We’ll provide a mild sedative to help you relax, so you’ll need to have someone there to drive you home.
  • Arrive with a full bladder: We use an ultrasound wand to guide the placement of the frozen embryo(s) into the optimal uterine location. A full bladder helps us gain a more precise image of this process.
  • Wear your fluffiest, warmest socks: This is a tried-and-true tradition for embryo transfer days. Chinese medicine practitioners believe a warm body (and appendages) help blood flow and circulation to the uterus – supporting fertility outcomes. We can’t weigh in on that either way, but it’s more comfortable for our patients and connects you to the thousands of women throughout the U.S. that day donning their fuzzy socks for the same reason.
  • Don’t forget to take your meds. Most women undergoing FET take estrogen and progesterone to support the transfer and implantation process. Don’t let the excitement take over. Keep on the prescription schedule to regulate fertility hormones accordingly.

The Embryo Transfer Procedure

The embryo transfer procedure is very straightforward, considering the magnitude of what’s about to happen. Once you’re checked in and brought to the office, you’ll lay comfortably back on our table, much like you did on egg retrieval day. Once you’ve seen a picture of your embryos and had a chance to review the procedure and ask questions, we’ll move forward with the transfer.

  1. This time, we’ll use the ultrasound wand to put the catheter in place. The catheter is a hollow tube we place through your vagina and cervix, used to guide the placement of your embryos.
  2. Once the catheter is in place, we’ll load your embryo(s) into a smaller catheter. Again, we’ll continue using the ultrasound on your abdomen to guide the placement of your embryo(s) in the uterus.
  3. You’ll be able to see the screen with us, watching as we place your teeny embryo(s) in position. The embryo is too small to see on the screen, so we use a small air bubble and mixed media to push the embryo through the catheter and into place. We do this every day, yet it never ceases to be amazing.
  4. Once the transfer is complete, we spend some time honoring the moment and whatever comes up for you. Then, we’ll review your post-procedure instructions as well as instructions regarding medications.
  5. There’s no need to remain lying flat or reclined for the rest of the day (or weeks), but we do recommend taking it easy for the first week. You may want to consider booking acupuncture appointments, which some studies show improve fertility outcomes.

Prepare For the Two Week Wait (TWW)

Now comes one of the hardest parts of all: surviving the two-week wait. Make sure you have everything you need to balance resting, relaxing, and not over-obsessing about the outcome. Each day that goes by is one day closer to taking your official pregnancy test.

Have more questions about how to prepare for your frozen embryo transfer? Contact us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas.

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