Embryo Transfer Acupuncture


The time between embryo transfer (ET) and doing a pregnancy test can feel like a long time. After all the waiting, medication and scans, you will inevitably want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to help the process and that you don't do anything that may potentially cause harm.

One of the hardest aspects of this time, is the not knowing... 

Accepting that this is a stressful time, and that you will feel anxious, can be difficult
but as much possible try to allow these feelings to be there. Fighting them may just make them worse.

Acupuncture can help you with this, as increasing levels of endorphins
in your system helps counteract the effects of stress and anxiety...

The Agora nurses and I have put together a list of things for you to be aware of during this time. It is a compilation of Chinese and Western medical advice based on theory and research.




Exercise is essential for good circulation but avoid exercise that causes strain on your abdomen or back, or excessively tiring exercise that raises the core body temperature significantly. Walking is great, particularly if it is somewhere that you find uplifting. Swimming can be problematic due to the cold for the reasons explained below. Rest is good for regenerating blood and restoring vital energy levels but only once your circulation is good. Try and find the right balance for you between exercise and rest.

What do I do if I am bleeding?
There are many reasons why you might have some bleeding after ET and most are not a cause for concern, especially if progesterone has been prescribed. If you do experience spotting use pads and not tampons, and if you are in any doubt about the nature of the bleeding seek medical advice.

Avoid cold
In Chinese medicine one of the main factors for achieving a successful established pregnancy is 'warmth in the uterus'. For this reason avoid eating excessively cold food or drinks. Swimming in cold water is best avoided. Wear warm clothes, especially around abdomen, if the weather is cold.

Avoid excess heat
It is also important to avoid anything that will significantly raise the body temperature such as: excessively hot baths, showers or saunas. Warm baths & showers and some gentle warmth on your abdomen can be a good idea, especially if you feel chilled, as long as any heat packs or hot water bottles are not too hot.

It is a good idea to avoid wearing perfumed skin or hair products for the following couple of weeks because embryos are particularly sensitive to volatile fumes. Don't repaint the house just now and avoid fumes like petrol, nail varnish and household cleaning products.

Sex is best avoided until after you have done a pregnancy test. For women that have a history of miscarriage it is advisable to also avoid sex in the early stages of pregnancy.

In order to give your body the best chance, it requires a good supply of the right nutrients. These come from a healthy, balanced diet. As much as possible eat nourishing warming plain fresh foods that are as seasonal, local and organic as possible. Avoid eating excessively cold or dry foods, especially in winter. Don't eat too much late at night. Make sure to maintain a good protein intake. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.

There is no significant research to suggest whether there is a potential risk from flying but it is recommend not to, unless you have to, at least until after the 7 wk scan. Part of the reason for this is so that if anything does happen, then you are near to your doctor and specialist, and not reliant on local doctors that may not understand you.

Have some!

Embryo transfer acupuncture has been repeatedly shown to benefit implantation rates but we also recommend acupuncture at least once in the days between your ET and doing your test. Acupuncture during these days will help maintain an embryo if it has implanted, minimise uterine cramps and help keep you relaxed, during what can be an anxious time.

Some discomfort and cramping is common in the days after ET and this may be made worse due to the use of progesterone. Mild pain killers may be beneficial at this stage but acupuncture can also be used to help.

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