HOW TO PREPARE FOR EMBRYO TRANSFER WITH ACUPUNCTURE
Preparing for an embryo transfer is very exciting process, but also come with concerns in case the transfer is not successful. As an expert in Chinese medicine, I run an in-depth preparatory program for Embryo Transfer that allows you to learn more about the process and adjust your lifestyle so you are in the best position for a successful embryo transfer. I want to share the following tips, but a full personal consultation is advised some months before the procedure.
Schedule a pre-conception massage
A gentle massage to relax and prepare the body for the IVF procedure takes 60 minutes. It is done a day before the embryo transfer. We also do foot reflexology to stimulate the endocrine system and reproductive organs linked with pregnancy.
Eat the right food
An optimal hormonal balance can increase the success of the IVF procedure. In the months leading up to embryo transfer, you need to maintain your hormonal balance by eating organic and healthy foods. Make sure to increase your consumption of the following:
Beetroot contains folate, known to reduce the risk of miscarriages, and is considered helpful with embryo implantation.
Berries, including strawberries, goji berries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in vitamin C and help regulate your progesterone level.
Pineapple cores– yes, those hard bits at the center of pineapples are rich in fiber and will keep your digestive system healthy. The Bromelain contained in pineapple cores helps prevent blood clots and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Pomegranates are high in polyphenolic antioxidants. Studies show these compounds protect against cell death. They reduce stress and death of human fetal and placental cells grown in culture.
Leafy greens – including chard, broccoli, spinach, and bok choy, are rich in dietary fiber. They are hormone-balancing foods that normalize estrogen and progesterone to ensure a good prognosis for the embryo transfer.
Healthy fats – Omega-3 fats are essential for developing the brain and retina of the fetus. Also, they help prevent pre-term delivery. Use omega-3 fats found in vegetable oils like olive and sesame oil. Eat fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies. Avoid tuna, as it is well known that the larger and longer-lived fish are contaminated with higher mercury levels. Pumpkin and sesame seeds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Before embryo transfer healthy fats will prepare your body for implantation and help you deliver a healthier baby.
What you need to avoid
You should avoid raw or undercooked meat and seafood like oysters because certain parasites or bacteria in the meat or seafood can make you ill, resulting is an increased chance of losing the baby. Soft or unpasteurized cheeses may contain Listeria bacteria. They can lead to an infection called listeriosis, resulting in a possible miscarriage or stillbirth. Avoid icy cold drinks – instead, ensure your beverages are served at room temperature. This avoids diverting blood away from the uterus. On the day of embryo transfer, eat only warm food, no cold things like ice cream or refrigerated yogurts, for the above reason.
Reduce stress and workload
You will naturally be worried about the outcome, so to reduce stress make sure to reduce your workload. Either take leave or reduce responsibilities. If you are running your own business, train someone who can help out well beforehand, or prepare as much as you can in advance, like scheduling payments, designing social media posts, and customer email campaigns.
By all means, continue with walking and gentle yoga, tai chi, and light exercise for the weeks before the embryo transfer. Avoid heavy abdominal exercises for a few days before, like heavy weightlifting and crunches. Heavy exercise will tend to redirect blood away from the uterus and ovaries, and you need that blood to ensure a successful transplant.
Keep your feet warm at all times
A principle in Chinese medicine is that a uterus with poor blood flow and circulation can be one of the causes of infertility. Wearing warm socks with slip-on shoes on the day of transfer is recommended because your feet remain warm during the procedure, with minimal fuss about getting shoes on and off. In the weeks before the procedure, also take care of yourself by wearing warm socks. This promotes good blood circulation – you want that blood directed to the uterus and ovaries rather than to warm up cold hands and feet.
Download Mindful IVF for meditation
Use the app called Mindful IVF. This coaching program improves your mental fitness before the procedure. It is so reassuring to have well-renowned fertility experts guiding you through daily meditation, which will lead towards more restful sleep. The right amount of sleep is known to contribute to better success rates. A calm, stress-free environment contributes to higher embryo transfer success rates, which is why Mindful IVF is so helpful.
A research study showed women who had acupuncture 25 min before embryo transfer had significantly increased IVF outcomes compared with the control group who had no acupuncture before the procedure. There were 186 participants in the study divided into three groups. The third group had acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer; however, there was no significant difference. This means that for the best results, follow the recommendations above and do acupuncture before embryo transfer is all you need. The acupuncture session helps reduce stress and anxiety and balance the endocrine and reproductive systems.
These are just a few tips, but it is best to schedule a consultation to discuss the lifestyle choices you will be making and the dietary adjustments needed, as these vary from individual to individual. A consult with massage and acupuncture treatments scheduled at the appropriate times can go a long way to creating a successful embryo transfer.