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Facebook Community Advice: How to Prepare Your Body for an Embryo Transfer

PtTipsPineappleWhen a woman begins the infertility treatment process, her Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) will create a clinical plan for her. While this plan will cover the medical aspects of treatment, it is also important that each patient prepare her body for conception, which often involves improving overall health. As a result, many patients like to supplement their infertility treatment program with vitamins, acupuncture, healthy eating, living a stress-free lifestyle, and more.

A patient’s first stop for healthy lifestyle advice should always be their physician, but another great resource for patients is the Shady Grove Fertility Facebook community. At 14,500+ members strong, the community provides patients with support and information from people who have been in –or are in – the same situation.

On July 17th, our Facebook community entered into a discussion about lifestyle recommendations for the infertility treatment process. Almost everyone recommended alleviating as much stress as possible from your life:

    • “I have had three successful FETs. In regards to preparation, I didn’t do anything special; however, I think stress will play a huge factor. Do whatever you need to do to keep stress to a minimum…” – Lauren
    • “I started watching what I ate more closely and planned four stress- free days to relax afterwards. My baby is due February 22. I truly feel the key is positive thinking and relaxation.” – Jennifer
    • “Stress-free, stay positive. Stay in bed for a few days after…” – Anna

Another way that SGF patients prepared for treatment was to participate in yoga or acupuncture. For acupuncture, patients will have appointments in the month leading up to the appointment and even on the day of transfer – both before and after the procedure.

    • “I got acupuncture twice a week for a month and then immediately before and after the transfer for our FET. I had two failed fresh cycles and a miscarriage at 11 weeks before our successful FET but that is how we got our beautiful 11-month-old…” – Sarah
    • “I lost 20 pounds and went for regular massages. Did my best to relax and take it easy after the transfer…”– Lesley
    • “I did yoga and acupuncture. I’m not sure if that’s what worked or the fact that it relaxed me.” – Caitlin

Learn more about holistic care for fertility services offered by Pulling Down the Moon.

In addition to de-stressing, changing one’s eating habits was very popular among SGF Facebook fans. While no one dietary plan is best, eating healthy and getting the appropriate amount of daily nutrition is highly recommended. Beyond simply eating healthy, patients also recommended eating everything from pineapple core to certain varieties of nuts:

    • “We watched a funny movie when we got home, we chose Step Brothers, we also did an acupuncture treatment in the morning before and right after the transfer and ate pineapple core.” – Leah
    • “I didn’t do anything in particular other than start working out and watching what I ate…..worked for me and our FET after one failed fresh embryo transfer…..we’re due in November!” – Jessica
    • “I ate Brazil nuts and pineapple core. I had three unsuccessful IVF cycles prior to this successful one.” – Melissa
    • “I gave up gluten, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and extra sugars, AND artificial sweeteners. I also switched to all organic full-fat dairy, and then started eating pineapple the day of the transfer, and for the next five days. I also did a 48 hour modified bed rest, just to play it extra safe (and because I like it when people wait on me, and do all the cooking.) A lot? Yes. But I’m currently feeding a very handsome nine-month-old his dinner, so totally worth it.” – Ashley
    • “I ate pineapple and walnuts every day during my treatment cycle.” – Abby 

Vitamins are a particularly hot topic in the fertility community and many of the healthy foods that patients recommend are specifically selected because of the vitamins that they possess. Physicians and researchers alike have been asking themselves for years if vitamins improve fertility or result in a healthier pregnancy. To read more about what SGF physicians think about vitamins, Chinese herbs, supplements, and a healthy pregnancy, check out our recent article, Vitamins for Fertility and Healthy Pregnancy. One of our Facebook fans discussed how she tried a variety of vitamins and supplements:

    • “Where to begin…I did all of the crazies! I did castor oil packs the month prior. Acupuncture for a few months before…I took the following supplements, calcium/magnesium, omega, multi-vitamins, folic acid, iodine (read up on that one). I didn’t take iodine the first transfer, just the transfer that took. I sat on my butt for three days and ate pineapple core for five days straight. Most of all, I prayed, prayed, and then prayed some more. It took us one day shy of being married for 10 years to finally hear our nurse Chris say, “Honey, you are very pregnant!” We now have 13-month old boy and girl twins…” – Tina

While many of our patients’ recommendations cannot be medically-guaranteed, there is no harm in trying yoga, acupuncture, healthy eating, vitamins, etc., provided that your physician is consulted and that it doesn’t cause you any adverse effects. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and enjoy your pineapple!

Have you been trying to conceive for over a year? Shady Grove Fertility’s team of dedicated New Patient Liaisons are available to answer your questions and schedule a consultation with a physician. Call 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment.

31 Comments

  1. Albana

    September 5, 2016 - 9:41 am
    Reply

    Hello ladies,
    Its nice to read all you comments, this is the first time i have posted anything on here before. Im 27, me and my husband have been trying to have a baby since August 2013. I have had two ectopic pregnancies which has resulted in me losing both of my fallopian tubes :(
    I tried IVF in Dec- Jan 2016, i had 2 embryos transferred and they both implanted successfully, but after 5 weeks of being pregnant i had a misscariage at work, i feel that my highly stressful job may have been one of the main causes of the misscariage. :( i will be going for IVF again in November, i will keep positive as i have 8 embryos left. im going to try acupuncture, eating pineapple and avocado this time round.

  2. Kim

    May 9, 2016 - 11:31 pm
    Reply

    This is my first time posting anything, but just had to express myself somewhere I guess… I had 3 Frozen embryo transfers. The first two ended in biochemical pregnancies which was super disappointing. The 3rd one we tried acupuncture for the first time as well as eating pineapple core. I now have a wonderful (mischevious) 15 month old boy. We have two frozen embyos left so we will be trying one last time tomorrow. I will be again doing acupuncture before the procedure as well as trying some of these yoga poses… http://childsposefertility.com/blog/2011/07/24/pre-post-transfer-%E2%80%93-gentle-poses-to-open-and-calm/ Good luck to everyone!!!!! Praying and hoping but scared to get too hopeful or excited…

  3. Heidi

    January 7, 2016 - 9:02 pm
    Reply

    Hi Eva!
    I’m excited for you too! And by the way, before my post, I had never posted anything ever in my life either! Funny.

    I know your feeling of wanting to do everything in your power to be successful and bring home a baby(: I too have quit alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars. Now my Doctor has asked me to quit doing the heated room yoga that I have been doing. AAAUUGGHH! No fun! (It’ll be worth it though). It wasn’t Bikram Yoga (100+ degree room), but it was a heated room (89 degrees). And I’m totally bummed about that. I felt like I was doing something productive there. But, I’m going to listen to my doctor on this one. He said that other yoga is fine, just not heated. Also, he asked me to not do anything “homeopathic” as some of the herbs may interfere with the meds he has me on. (I’m on Lupron injections and Estrace). He even told me not to use wheatgrass! Weird. When I asked him about acupuncture, he said that if it makes me feel good, then do it. So I am proceeding with that. By the way, the needles are so thin, I can’t usually feel them. When I can feel them, it’s so minor that it isn’t a big deal at all and it goes away quickly. It’s not like an IV needle either (ouch!). Plus, doing the injections for stimulation was way bigger a deal, and that wasn’t bad either, right? I love acupuncture! It is so relaxing and euphoric. I usually fall asleep for twenty minutes during the visit and I am not someone that falls asleep easily, being a worry-wart and all! Since your transfer is in March, you have plenty of time to prep your body and be ready. One last thing about this, my acupuncturist specializes in women health.

    If I had more time, I would do the fertility cleanse, or at least do a juice fast. I did a juice fast last summer and was pregnant soon thereafter! I can’t say for sure it was the fast, or what caused me to become pregnant after all these years, but it ended up being an ectopic pregnancy and resulted in us to moving forward with IVF. (We’ve tried for about ten years to get pregnant. We had kind of given up when I found out I was pregnant. Then losing it made us realize how badly we really do want to start our own family.) The colon cleanse/juice fast I did came from the Prescription for Nutritional Healing book. Any Whole Foods or Natural Grocer stocks this book. On the other hand, I was also binging on homemade Irish Creme Popsicles!! Maybe that was how I got pregnant!

    So, the best thing I have found to help myself be calm, is to say to myself “What can go right?” That’s much better than what I was saying to myself about everything that could go wrong! I even put up post-it’s all over saying “Think of what can go right” and on other post-it’s I wrote down what could go right! I also visualize the embryo being placed in exactly the right spot and finding his way to my lining and the little guy embedding in it and his cells multiplying and growing perfectly healthy.

    Regarding “one embryo”: I have heard about two different people who have had multiple failed attempts and were down to their last one embryo. AND THEY GOT PREGNANT!!! One of them is my mom’s neighbor and I can’t remember who the other one was. But maybe there is something to having just one embryo!

    Thanks for responding. I just needed to talk to someone who is going through the same thing. My husband doesn’t quite understand, nor can anyone else who isn’t actually preparing their womb for such a major event! Tell you what! I am looking forward to post breast-feeding when I can finally have a drink! My transfer is the week of January 25th. Best wishes to you!

    • Sim

      July 28, 2016 - 4:27 pm
      Reply

      Hello Heidi,

      I am super nervous and worried about FET.
      I have my frozen embryo transfer on 17th aug next month, this is our last embryo after 3 failed IVF. am on my injections for FET.

      I was wondering any luck with your FET?
      Please let me know what can i do to make this FET sucessfull, am worried about the idea what if this fail back to zero.

      I started doing castor oil pack from 2days.

      I wish you luck.

  4. Heidi

    January 1, 2016 - 1:17 am
    Reply

    I am excited and nervous about my upcoming FET. I am also a worry-wart! My husband and I got just one very high quality embryo out of our retrieval. Which was a shock since I thought we’d have many back ups for a 2nd or 3rd try. In the same breath, I feel lucky to have the one! I wish I would have found this website earlier! Our embryo has been PGS tested and we found out it’s a boy! It was exciting to get that news!
    In preparation for our FET, I started doing acupuncture three weeks ago. I also started doing yoga at the same time. I’ve been taking COQ10 200mg. twice a day, a prenatal and baby asprin. I guess I am just looking for support right now. I am consumed with what to do to have a successful outcome.

    • Eva

      January 4, 2016 - 7:49 pm
      Reply

      Hello Heidi! I am so happy to have read your post. I too am extremely excited and nervous for an upcoming FET (in March). We had a failed IVT attempt last October and we’re very happy to have been able to freeze one embryo. But as I start on this next and new cycle, I’m starting to worry more and more because we only have one. It just dawned on me today what that actually means but at the same time (like you), we feel very lucky to have even just one.
      I’m debating on doing acupuncture…everyone seems to mention it, I hate needles but if it’s that helpful I’m ready to try anything to relax. I just don’t know if it’s too late to help at this point? My transfer date is in March.
      I’m also stressed out because I want to do everything for a successful outcome. As of a few days ago which also coincides with the New Year :-) I have stopped all alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar consumption which I’m sure can’t do wrong. And I also want to have a better exercice routine.

      I have been told by our clinic’s nurses that as long as your consumptions and routines aren’t overboard, it’s sometimes better to stay the course (of course alcohol being the only exception once you are very close to the transfer date) with how you do things in order to keep you happy and not depressed. I’m sure, that what you are doing is perfect for you now and the most important is reducing the stress and anxiety we feel. I hope this helps a little, I am rambling on since I’ve never writing a post in my life but as I read you post just now and I’m also starting the same journey as you, it felt right to talk to you and to share.

    • Nitu

      October 2, 2018 - 4:48 pm
      Reply

      Hi All,
      This is my first time writing on any forum
      I am trying to get pregenent more than 10 years now,
      I am also in my journey and waiting for Frozen Embryo transfer, My AMH is pretty low and running out of egg
      i have only one embryo, trying my best to make it succesful
      going to start my Accupunture and massage
      Please advice more on eating habits, I am vegetarian and usually eat organic only
      Started practicing Yoga 15 min everyday along with 20-25 walk
      Please suggest
      Thanks in advance
      Nitu

    • Atiya

      August 19, 2019 - 3:54 am
      Reply

      Did you get the PGS conducted before or after the embryo was frozen?

  5. Jasica

    August 28, 2015 - 12:36 pm
    Reply

    I really like it

  6. alumba

    August 9, 2015 - 5:27 pm
    Reply

    hi there, i like this site, thanks a lot

  7. Susie

    July 26, 2015 - 2:43 am
    Reply

    Hi Riya,

    Im on my 5th unsuccesful ivf but having a fresh embryo transfer this Tuesday.
    I was put on Melatonin and use Testosterone cream once a day to improve my egg quality. Might be worth mentioning to your doctor.
    Good luck

  8. Ria

    June 13, 2015 - 5:40 pm
    Reply

    Hello I agree with both comments. I feel that we should do anything whic help us relax and get healthy. If acupuncture is helping you relax then you must do it. It does help me as well. For pineapple there is no research but we all know it is a healthy fruit so shy not give it a try. I will do anything to keep my self healthy do I eat fruits organic vegetables avocado nuts, you name healthy stuff and I will eat it. Due to my work schedule i never paid attention to my diet and now I know health is wealth so I am trying my best. Ladies do or eat anything which makes you happy and relaxes you. Good luck to everyone. I am going for my embryo transfer on Tuesday and pray and hope things turns out in my favor… God bless

    • Ria

      June 13, 2015 - 5:42 pm
      Reply

      Try ovaboost it improves egg health.

      • Riya

        July 6, 2015 - 8:40 pm
        Reply

        Hi Girls,

        I am 37. I am suffering from secondary infertility. What should i do to improve egg quality. I do not want to give up trying for the second baby. First IVF cycle failed.

        • Raven

          April 14, 2016 - 12:30 am
          Reply

          I encourage everyone trying to conceive to read the book “It Starts With The Egg”. It has a wealth of information about improving egg quality.

  9. Patty

    April 23, 2015 - 6:00 am
    Reply

    Hi. First time on this site. I’ve had 4failed iui s and have only two frozen embryos I just started my cycle and will have my transfer soon. I started seeing an acupuncturist who has me drinking herbs, taking vitamins and CoQ10. I no longer get excited of the idea of a positive , mostly because I’m afraid of the disappointment. My biggest drawback is what a stress nut I am. I’d like to hear what some of you ladies do to calm yourselves. Thank you!!!

  10. Natasha

    January 22, 2015 - 8:26 am
    Reply

    i just turned 39 with blocked tubes, i have had 5 failed frozen and fresh cycles. in between these cycles i have also exprience 4 natural ectopic pregnancies.
    my treatment has started for another frozen embryo transfer- i have been prescibed to start taking after my three week injections,prednisolne tablets progynova and after my transfer will start taking clexine ( blood thinner) medication. do i still have to eat the pineapple core? has any one been in the same situation? what about drinking warm water prior to the transfer?

  11. Jennifer Adams

    January 4, 2015 - 4:48 pm
    Reply

    Frankly, I think most all of this stuff is nonsense and a waste of time. Just eat well and exercise. All this pineapple core and special herbs etc. nonsense is just a waste of time. if pineapple or acupuncture were necessary for conception–most of the babies in this world would not exist.

    • Natalie

      January 10, 2015 - 3:34 pm
      Reply

      Ignorance is most likely the reason for this inconsiderate post. Out of curiosity, if exercise and eating well is all that one should do – why are you on this site? Ladies don’t let the above post discourage you, everyone’s journey to have a family is different. Pick a plan you feel is best for you and enjoy your journey.

      Acupuncture, massage, etc, maybe what someone who has struggled for years to have a baby needs to relax and distract them from worrying whether or not their procedure will work.

      Our 3rd IUI cycle was successful in our 7 yr struggle to start a family. I was in the ER 3 times thinking I was having a miscarriage, I had a subcorionic hemorrhage with lots of bleeding. After some bed rest (not my personality to do nothing) by week 24 I was getting back to my daily routine slowly. Today, I am blessed to have a happy, healthy 2 1/2 year old girl.

    • Helen

      January 21, 2015 - 9:20 am
      Reply

      Very well responded to Lizzie and Natalie! I’m very new to all this. First cycle after two canceled ones. I’m doing almost all of these things! If its all nonsense then I’m the Mayor of Nonsense Town :-) Whatever it takes…… just feels good to do something!

      • Meka

        May 8, 2015 - 8:31 pm
        Reply

        Thanks ladies for the positive… Only the Spirit of the devil is there to speak negativity! But guess what it’s that type of evil and hate that pushes the rest of us to our destiny! We will triumph and frankly last time I checked pineapple and relaxation are both good for the body, mind and soul.

    • Jennifer W

      March 9, 2015 - 8:03 pm
      Reply

      Very, very well put Lizzie. All of us are on this site (as well as others similar) for support and positivity. THere is enough pressure, stress, and disappointment and patience needed when going through fertility issues. Negativity in my own mind is challenging enough to deal with. Thanks for the great response.
      Keeping fingers crossed for a successful FET in the next few weeks! Positive thoughts for all!

    • Renae

      May 29, 2015 - 2:17 pm
      Reply

      I agree with lizzie. A positive attitude is really important. I also want to point out that i tried 9 IUI’s and 2 IVF cycles. The first IVF didn’t work, the second one did work (we used ICSI) and i did accupuncture, fertility smooties, herbs, supplements, yoga, wheatgrass shots on the second successful IVF. Also, Lizzie, i was 42 years old when i got pregnant. Gave birth to a very healthy baby boy almost one year ago. I’m trying for baby number 2 at age 44. it’s a long shot i know, but words of encouragement and positive thinking does help. 2 IVF failed so far. i’m going to try mini ivf next month. i’m going to keep trying until i have no eggs left. :) good luck to you all.

      • Dori

        July 6, 2015 - 1:53 pm
        Reply

        Wow! Renae, I feel so much better hearing that someone our age is still trying IVF. I wish you so much luck. I’m 44 also, new to this site. Experiencing secondary infertility, 3 failed IUI’s 1 failed IVF. Second transfer soon, I will definitely try the pine apple and acupuncture, it’s worth a try. I’m going to look into mini IVF. Thank you.

      • Michelle Keith

        February 7, 2016 - 5:36 am
        Reply

        This was inspirational. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had 12 failed iui’so (1 did take but m/c) and just had first failed ivf and feeling hopeless.

  12. Elizabeth

    November 30, 2014 - 8:10 am
    Reply

    I was in ivf for the first time in nov 2013
    and i ate pineaple from the day of embryo transfer
    For five consecutive days and it works. I conceive quarduplated babied two identica boys abd two identicle girls but when i reach 23.3 weeks i delicer all misscarriage due to my uterus not sfford them.
    Nie iam on another ivf hope will be succesfull.

    • Jamie

      December 13, 2014 - 3:08 am
      Reply

      Prayers for you and your future family.

    • Brandie

      January 30, 2016 - 2:54 am
      Reply

      Hey did you conceive again after your loss?

  13. Alyssa

    August 5, 2014 - 7:15 pm
    Reply

    I tried not to stress myself out. I stayed busy and spent alot of time with family and friends. I didn’t really change my diet much but I did try to incorporate more fruit. I took prenatal vitamins every day without fail and had no doubt in my mind that the ivf would work….even if it meant 6 tries….I believed that it was going to happen.

    My husband and I now have twin 4 month old girls! My biggest tip is to stay busy and enjoy friends and family.

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