When IVF started in the 80’s, women were advised to take bed rest immediately after embryo transfer. What we now understand based on multiple studies and particularly one study published in a well-respected peer-review journal, Fertility and Sterility (Fertil Steril 2013; 100: 729-35), that there are better pregnancy rates with immediate resumption of normal activities compared to bed rest right after the embryo transfer.
For the first 24 hours after implantation it’s important to avoid heavy lifting and too much heat. The body doesn’t need excess strain during this time and the embryo doesn’t like a hot environment (such as a hot tub or very hot bath). During this time the embryo is slowly attaching to the uterus in which it will soon implant. Offering yourself physical, mental and emotional support is important: activities such as relaxation, meditation, gentle walks in nature beneficially aid the body and mind while ensuring we are emotionally supported through such activities as talking with friends and journalling help us to feel connected to our experience during this emotional time.
In addition to the above suggestions, research has shown the beneficial effects of having acupuncture – ideally 20 minutes pre and post transfer: Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF, (Westergaard L et al, Fertility and Sterility April 2006 Vol 85, pp. 1341-1346)
There are two basic reasons why an embryo doesn’t implant – either the health of the embryo is tenuous or the uterine wall is not supportive i.e. not thick enough.
Before going through the process of IVF consider working with an acupuncturist. Giving yourself 3 months to both build the blood and yin in the body through acupuncture, dietary advice, lifestyle changes and herbal formulas (thus improving the uterine environment) we help to increase your chances of becoming pregnant -and staying pregnant- with a healthy baby.