IVF treatment can bring forth many emotions and anxieties, and it can be quite overwhelming. Research shows that the most stressful part of IVF is between embryo transfer and pregnancy test known as the two-week wait.

Once the embryo transfer procedure is done, it is important for you to take certain steps for improving the chances of success.

Here are some things that can help you enhance the odds of getting pregnant and help you get through the two-week wait:

1. Consider Time Off Work.

While there is no strict requirement of bed rest after embryo transfer, it is recommended that you take things easy for a little while and try to avoid heavy manual work, especially for the first two days after the procedure. Taking time off work can be very helpful in ensuring that you do not feel additional stress and have adequate time for yourself.

2. Focus on a Healthy Diet.

There is little research to show that eating a healthy diet will improve the change of getting pregnant. Nevertheless, diet and help mental and physical health. A balanced and nutritious diet, rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats like olive oil, is highly recommended. Stay well hydrated. If you haven’t already, start taking your folic acid and vitamin D supplement as well.

3. Manage Stress.

Stress management is important right from the start of the IVF journey, and it’s especially vital after the embryo transfer. Positive affirmations have been shown to help manage stress during this period.1 Mindfulness and meditation may help.

Some people find it helpful to join a support group or talk to your partner, family or friends about your feelings and emotion. De-stressing exercises like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or acupuncture can be effective as well.

4. Avoid Certain Activities.

It is suggested that you avoid sex and heavy physical activity, such as intense gym sessions or weightlifting, during the first two weeks post-embryo transfer. It’s probably not the best time to start an exercise programme, but you can continue to exercise as you would have done previously.

Additionally, it is recommended that you avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks, and excess caffeine during this period.

5 Be Aware of Symptoms.

You may experience slight cramping and/or spotting after an embryo transfer. However, you should immediately inform your doctor if you notice severe symptoms such as heavy bleeding, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

If you are unsure about what to do in your individual circumstances, discuss this with your doctor.


Here are three myths debunked that surround embryo transfer.

1. Bed rest will improve the chance of success

The myth that bed rest can help with implantation has been around for a long time. It was believed that the activity could cause the embryo to detach from the uterine. However, high-quality research has shown that bed rest actually decreases the chance of success. So it’s ok to continue with your normal daily activities.2

2. Specific foods (pineapple, Brazil nuts, pomegranate juice, improve the chance of success)

No specific foods can guarantee success after an embryo transfer. Remember to eat a balanced diet and take folic acid and vitamin D supplements.

3. Acupuncture will increase the chance of success

Some people claim that acupuncture can improve blood flow to the uterus, however the evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture after is unclear. For most patients having routine in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is effective without using any complementary therapies.3

By following these tips and recommendations, you can improve your chances of success after an embryo transfer.



Matt is an NHS Consultant in Newcastle with over ten years of experience. His PhD research into subfertility and miscarriage involved developing a clinical trial and patient engagement.