Preparing for FET – what you need to know
While the techniques have greatly improved over the years with a process called vitrification, which helps make it easier to freeze eggs, there remains a number of factors for women to consider around preserving their eggs.
The success of a healthy pregnancy achieved through the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) process has increased substantially in recent years, which has helped make the procedure an increasingly popular option for patients to consider before making the decision to proceed with another fresh IVF cycle.
The Zita West Clinic now has a Clinical Pregnancy Rate per embryo transferred with frozen cycles using the patient’s own eggs of 34% (the HFEA UK national average is 29%).
The embryo transfer is the final step in a long journey toward building your family and every path is unique, although each will all involve planning, injections, appointments, and usually some ups and downs. Preparing for this day and knowing what to expect can decrease your worries and maximize your chances of success.
Preparing for your Embryo Transfer
- The best way to prepare for your embryo transfer is to follow all directions from your clinic and learn more about what to expect on the day of the transfer. Whether you are doing a fresh embryo transfer or a frozen embryo transfer, you’ll likely be on progesterone and other supportive medications, so make sure you have enough of them and that you follow directions from your clinic on how to take them.
- Plan ahead for getting to the clinic on time – think of traffic, weather, and other issues that may cause a delay. If you have a long drive to the clinic, consider staying in a hotel near the clinic the night before the transfer to decrease your risk of being late.
- Ask about logistics for the day of the procedure – what time you should arrive, who you can bring to the appointment (usually it’s one adult in the room at a time), and how long you should expect to be at the clinic. Try to ask questions beforehand – the day of the transfer is exciting and emotional, and you may forget to ask what you wanted to if you wait until the day of the transfer to ask.
- Research suggests that acupuncture may help in various areas relating to assisted conception, including during the lead-up to a cycle and immediately before and after embryo transfer (though, as with most research related to complementary treatments, this can’t be considered proven). We believe that it contributes to our very high levels of IVF success.
- Prepare for a relaxing evening after the transfer – have your favourite meal ready (or plan for delivery), get a new book to enjoy, have a few films picked out that you’ve wanted to see, and in general, just plan for pampering.
After your embryo transfer
A lot of the time, women feel anxious about getting up and moving around in case the embryo ‘falls out’. The natural instinct is to want to rest a while after the procedure, and this is completely fine! The most important thing to do is to listen to your body and do what it dictates.
There are a few dos and don’ts that we would recommend when it comes to your post-transfer routine:
- Exercise excessively – gentle movement or walking is fine
- Lift heavy objects
- Drink caffeine
- Have sex
- Have hot baths – excessive heat may damage the embryo, so stick to showers until the pregnancy test.
- Listen to anyone who has a bad IVF story! Try asking them if it has a positive ending before they start their tale, as there’s no point indulging in negative energy.
- Get support from your partner, family and friends.
- Get your feel-good hormones circulating! Play uplifting music, laugh and do what makes you feel good.
- Think carefully about work. Many women say that work is a huge distraction for them, and so immersing yourself in it may be great to keep your mind active whilst you wait. But it all depends on your job, the travel and how supported you feel as an individual.
If you are considering IVF with the Zita West Clinic and would like to have an initial Skype consultation with one of our experienced team members at our clinic in London, then call us on 0808 196 4060