What to Expect After Your Frozen Embryo Transfer
An embryo transfer is the final stage in IVF treatments. It can be done using a fresh embryo or a frozen embryo, and fortunately, both are equally safe and effective. You can have them all frozen for use at a later time, or you can choose to have an embryo transfer right away.
Your doctor may advise you to use only one embryo, leaving you the option to freeze and store any remaining embryos for possible future use.
If you’re not sure what to expect after a frozen embryo transfer, it’s normal to be a little nervous. Learn more below about the frozen embryo transfer (FET) process and how you can be more prepared.
What Happens After a Frozen Embryo Transfer?
The procedure is generally painless and performed in your physician's office., but you will likely need to rest afterward. You may be put on some medications to relax you and your muscles. Your doctor will give you specific instructions, but typically you will remain at the clinic lying down for about an hour and then head home and take it easy for the rest of the day. Some physicians recommend 24 hours of bed rest, while others simply restrict you from participation in moderate to heavy activities. Be sure to check with your provider on their specific protocols.
The post frozen embryo transfer timeline (also known as the two week wait until your pregnancy test) from this point can seem impossibly long. You’ll be anxiously wondering whether you are pregnant and probably thinking of little else. If possible, surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and plan activities that you enjoy to help pass the time.
It is recommended to wait until your pregnancy test date before taking a pregnancy test to avoid false-negative results.
How Soon After Your Frozen Embryo Transfer Do You Feel Symptoms?
During this two-week time frame, you may experience symptoms similar to pregnancy (mood swings, fatigue) or your period (cramps, light spotting). Try to avoid agonizing over what this may mean. It is most likely your body reacting to the procedure and medications – nothing more. If you experience severe symptoms of any kind, talk to your doctor right away.
What Should You Avoid After FET?
Your doctor will give you instructions following your FET for what you need to avoid. It’s important that you follow them closely to make sure you don’t interfere with the implantation of the embryo. Common examples include avoiding:
- Heavy exercise
- Hot tubs
- Any food or drink that you would typically avoid when pregnant, such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine
These restrictions are for your protection, as well as the safety of the embryo. Intense exercise can lead to complications, such as twisted ovaries, and intercourse may cause the uterus to contract and affect implantation.
How Long After Frozen Embryo Transfer Is Implantation?
When the embryo is created, it is grown in the lab for approximately five days and either transferred immediately in or frozen for future use. Once it is transferred, it typically takes between one and five days to implant in the uterus and begin to develop.
Future Family Fertility Financing
Consult with your doctor to find out if frozen embryo transfer is right for you. Make sure to bring a list of questions so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect after your frozen embryo transfer. Ask about the cost of FET and keep in mind that collecting the embryos and transferring them constitutes only part of the total. You will need to store frozen embryos until you are ready to use them, so if it won’t be right away, you will likely incur a monthly fee.
If FET is the best course of action for you after discussions with your endocrinologist and you are considering different ways to pay for it, we suggest you check out Future Family, a smart way to pay for IVF that features low interest rates for customized fertility loans. Every IVF loan comes with bill pay management to save you stress as well as access to fertility coaches, who are all registered nurses with years of fertility healthcare. We even have a special IVF loan that a friend or family member can take out on your behalf. We suggest you start by creating your Future Family account for information about financing for your procedures. We’ll guide you to a plan you can afford and provide community support to help you every step of the way.