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5 Steps to Preparing for a Frozen Embryo Transfer

5 Steps to Preparing for a Frozen Embryo Transfer

Successful FETAre you considering Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) due to infertility? If so, you are going to want to take some important and simple steps to prepare. These steps may greatly increase your chance of successful implantation and pregnancy. In this 5 step guide, you will learn the most natural and nourishing ways to prepare for your upcoming FET, including boosting nutrition levels through an optimal fertility diet, cleansing in preparation for conception, how to promote a healthy uterine lining, and how to keep the uterus calm during implantation.

What You Can do to Prepare for Frozen Embryo Transfer

The great thing about FET cycles is that they don’t require a woman to take as many medications (no ovulation stimulation medications) and there aren’t as many steps to take to prepare.

It is just as important to prepare for FET as it is for any pregnancy. There are some specific areas that women preparing for FET should be focused on, that will help to increase the chance of successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy. Preparing for transfer should take place at least 1-3 months prior to transfer. FET doesn’t require as much time to prepare for, as fresh cycle IVF because there is no need to improve egg health prior to beginning medications to stimulate follicle maturation and ovulation.

1. Boost Nutritional Levels

Every woman’s journey to motherhood should start off with a healthy diet as the foundation. I cannot stress this enough with clients, what you eat and how you eat are truly the key to health. Women who prepare for pregnancy by eating a whole food Fertility Diet that includes taking a whole food multivitamin with at least 800 mcg of folic acid daily, are going to increase their chances of a successful implantation and pregnancy.

The best types of foods to eat include a wide variety of whole grains, good fats (omega-3, coconut oil), dark leafy green vegetables, lots of clean water, grass-fed/organic meats and fresh vegetables and fruits.

Learn all about eating a Fertility Diet here…

2. Fertility Cleansing

Performing a Fertility Cleanse is an excellent way for any mother-to-be to prepare her body for a healthy pregnancy. Fertility Cleansing uses specific herbs to cleanse the body of toxins prior to pregnancy, promote hormonal balance and prepare the uterus for implantation.

Fertility Cleansing lasts about one full menstrual cycle (28-30 days). So be sure to time this appropriately. Fertility Cleansing needs to be completed prior to beginning medications for FET.

Learn more about Fertility Cleansing here…

    Tip: Castor Oil Packs for Uterine Cleansing
    To help encourage uterine cleansing, I urge clients to consider applying castor oil packs. A castor oil pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil then applied to the abdomen to promote circulation to the reproductive organs and stimulate lymphatic cleansing of the area. Castor oil packs also soften the tissues and promote healing to the area applied. You can learn more here…

3. Promote a Healthy Uterine Lining

You are probably wondering, “How on earth do I do this?” In reality it is quite simple!

First, be sure you are getting enough iron. To create rich healthy blood, you need to consume adequate levels of iron. Foods rich in iron build the blood. Think kelp, brewer’s yeast, spinach, lentils, beef, venison, raw pumpkin seeds, unsulphured Turkish apricots, molasses and beets. Speaking of beets, studies have shown beets also increase circulation, which may help promote healthy blood flow to the uterus!

Beets or beetroots are naturally high in inorganic nitrate. Nitrate consumed through foods is reduced to nitrite in the small intestine and by bacteria that reside on the very back of the tongue, and further reduced by enzymes into nitric oxide (NO). NO is necessary throughout the body for healthy circulation. (Today’s Dietitian; The Magazine for Nutrition Professionals) Beetroot has also been found to “strengthen endogenous antioxidant defences, helping to protect cellular components from oxidative damage.” (Nutrients)

Women who are deficient in iron are more likely to miscarry. Be sure you are consuming 15mg of iron daily. Iron deficiency is known as anemia, the best way to prevent anemia is by eating iron rich foods or supplementing with a whole food iron supplement. We like Blood Builder by MegaFood.

Second, one nutrient stands out above all others for creating a healthy, rich uterine lining, that is L-Arginine. L-Arginine promotes synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is naturally produced by the body and is important for blood dilation, increases blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and genitals. L-Arginine promotes a healthy environment for implantation. One study showed that L-Arginine may improves the chance of successful IVF. You can learn more about this in our How to Increase Your IVF Success Rate Naturally guide.

Note: L-Arginine should not be taken if you have herpes as it can trigger an outbreak.

Fertility Massage
Fertility Massage uses massage techniques to strengthen the uterus, align the reproductive organs, promote healthy circulation to the uterus and more! You can learn to apply these techniques at home through our Self Fertility Massage DVD, or by booking regular appointments with a certified Maya abdominal massage therapist.

Fertility Massage should be applied for at least 1-3 months prior to transfer. Do not do Fertility Massage after transfer.

Learn all about Fertility Massage here…

4. Acupuncture

Studies show that acupuncture both before and after embryo transfer increases the chance of successful implantation and pregnancy. In one 2002 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, of 80 woman undergoing assisted reproduction therapy (ART) who had an acupuncture treatment 25 minutes before embryo transfer and again 25 minutes after, 34 became pregnant (42.5% of the acupuncture group), compared to 21 pregnancies in the group of women who did not receive acupuncture.

Acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate different points in the body that help to support various systems. Acupuncture can be used to not only help manage stress but can help support the body to overcome underlying imbalances that may keep a couple from conceiving. Acupuncture also supports and encourages healthy reproductive circulation, a healthy uterine lining, hormonal balance and much more.

When to begin acupuncture…

When using acupuncture in conjunction with FET you will want to begin seeing your acupuncturist well before your FET cycle begins, ideally 1-3 months before. Find an acupuncturist that specializes in infertility since they will have a deep understanding of what IVF is, can read your hormone blood tests for an understanding of your situation and can support you during the most critical times of your FET such as embryo transfer and directly post transfer.

5. Keep the Uterus Calm

It is common for the uterus to spasm and cramp for days after embryo transfer. Many women worry about this effecting implantation. Most commonly, cramping is a sign of implantation, especially if it is felt around day 6-7 post-transfer.

If the catheter used to place the embryo in the uterine cavity touches the side of the uterus, more severe uterine spasm may occur.

Regardless of the reason for uterine spasm and cramping, you are going to want to work to keep your uterus calm for implantation and through the first trimester of pregnancy. The specific herbal blend UteriCalm is formulated with herbs that have been shown to promote a calm, relaxed and healthy uterus, while also reducing nervous tension. UteriCalm contains 4 key herbs Crampbark (Viburnum opulus), Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium), Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) and Oat flowers (Milky oats, Avena Sativa). UteriCalm is a natural and supportive approach to promoting uterine health for FET transfer.

UteriCalm is best begun at least 1 month prior to transfer and continued through the first trimester of pregnancy.

Learn more about the specific action of the herbs in UteriCalm by reading our article Implantation Support for Early Pregnancy here

Here is a quick summary of how to prepare for a successful FET:

1. Eat a healthy fertility diet.
2. Prepare through cleansing and increase circulation with castor oil packs and massage.
3. Create a rich uterine lining by boosting iron and L-Arginine intake and applying Fertility Massage.
4. Get acupuncture in preparation and around embryo transfer.
5. Keep the uterus calm for implantation with the specific herbal blend UteriCalm.

And lastly, consider Circle + Bloom’s Frozen Embryo Transfer Mind-Body Program. It is an effective tool to help you take an active role in reducing the anxiety and stress associated with preparing for or undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET), and trying to get pregnant.


Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull is a University-trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies and specializes in gynecologic diseases such as menstrual disorders, infertility diagnosis and treatment especially pertaining to tubal blockage and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Langdon is the inventor of 6 patent pending medical devices, and attended Ohio State University from 1987-1995 receiving her Medical Doctorate Degree (M.D.) with Honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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  1. Avatar

    Hi, I had a laparoscopy 4 years ago to remove endometriosis. I have been taking Pycnogenol over the last few months which has helped with aching. I am about to have a Medicated Frozen Embryo Transfer. Is it safe to carry on taking Pycnogenol or should I stop taking it when I start Buserelin injections ?


  2. Avatar

    Hi,I was diagnosed with MTHFR(Single mutation (A1298C) identified) .Would you advise me to take L-Arginine and Utericalm.Hopefully it should not be a problem.

  3. Avatar

    Hi Elizabeth,Purchased Utericalm along with other products.Since I am on DHEA supplement till 04/12(in preparation for IVF),do u suggest to use Utericalm along with DHEA or shud I start using Utericalm after DHEA course gets over.Also I am planning to do my 1st Fertility Cleanse in May.Coz I landed on your website lil late after I started my pre conception Vitamins(like DHEA,COQ 10 etc).If I use Utericalm before FC,hopefully FC wont wash away the good effect of Utericalm.What would u suggest?Already running out of good time to prepare my body for conception-Donot want to wait till I finish FC and then start using Utericalm as I am planning to do FC in May and IVF around June/July.

  4. Avatar

    I have factor 2 clotting disorder and am unable to take any estrogen as it increases my risk of clotting. Is it safe to take UteriCalm, as some of the herbs are phytoestrogens? I am scheduled for a FET in a few weeks and have a history of an irritable uterus and want to do whatever I can to keep things calm but still stay safe. Thank you!

  5. Avatar

    Hi – I’m going to start the frozen embryo transfer process in about 2 weeks. I’ll probably be on letrozol, estrogen, progesterone, lovonox shots, prednisone, baby aspirin. I’ve been on the following supps: maca, royal jelly, acai berry, metformin, levothyroxin, multi-vitamin, vitamin d, metanx (prescription folate 2 mg). I had a retrieval so I used maca, royal jelly, acai berry, metformin to help with egg health. I just started utericalm and I’m planning to start l-arginine for the FET. Will Maca root and royal jelly help with FET? Not sure if I should continue using that. If so, must I discontinue maca, royal jelly and l-arginine when I start transfer meds (in about 2 weeks)?

  6. Avatar

    Can this be taken along with hormone medications for a frozen embryo transfer perscribed by my ivf doctor ?

    • Dear Amanda,

      Steps 1, 3 (L-Arginine only with your doctor’s approval) and 4 can all be considered. Step 5 can as well with your doctor’s approval.

      My best!

  7. Avatar

    I am currently completing a mock cycle in preparation for an FET. They will be checking my lining among other things. Would it be ok to do the castor oil packs during this time since it is not the actual transfer?

    • Dear Kelly,

      It may be best to pause their use during the trial/mock cycle. They can’t be used in a real FET, so it’s going to be best to act in the mock cycle just as you will in the actual FET.

  8. Avatar

    Hi, Can I do the fertility cleanse and castor oil packs at the same time?

  9. Avatar

    Thank you! Before I order, just want to make sure I take it this correctly:

    – Fertility Cleanse kit should be done 1st for a month
    – Then I can start utericalm afterward completing the cleanse. I can’t do it at same time correct?
    – Both should be completed before the start of transfer cycle.

    Is that right?

    Thank you for answering all my questions!


    • Dear Sheila,

      Fertility Cleansing is a foundational step and should be complete before starting any new herbs. Cleansing is best completed prior to beginning a FET cycle. With your doctor’s approval, UteriCalm can be utilized through FET and continued through the first trimester of pregnancy to support a calm uterus.

      Best wishes!

    • Avatar

      Can utericalm be used in conjunction with the fertility cleanse kit?

    • Dear Sheila,

      We don’t generally suggest combining multiple herbal combination supplements with all of those that are already in the cleanse. It may be best to wait to use it until after the cleanse has been completed.

  10. Avatar

    Thanks, I’ll think about the consultation. Before my next FET do you recommend me doing the or or both? I’ll get approval from my dr. To confirm, I should do this btwn 1-3 months before my FET (not the cycle I start my FET)?

    • Dear Sheila,

      While I am not able recommend the use of anything, these are two steps that we have found to be useful for those preparing for FET. We feel they are foundational steps.

  11. Avatar

    Hi – In Nov, I did an FET and it was negative. Then in march I did another on and got pregnant but unfortunately lost the pregnancy at 7 weeks (the embryo was confirmed genetically normal and they think it’s auto-immune so we’re doing a more aggressive protocol next time around). I’m taking a break for a couple of months. Which one of your products will be best for me to do before I attempt the next transfer and how long should I want to do the FET after starting the product?



  12. Avatar

    I wanted to buy Uteri Calm Drops and was looking at the directions on how to take. The site says to put 60 DROPS at a time into a drink twice a day. That seems like a lot of drops to me! I am using it to prepare for a Fresh embryo transfer in mid-June . Let me know how many you suggest to purchase if starting to take it in April

    • Dear Yaneli,

      These are actually small drops and 60 drops is only roughly 1/2 teaspoon. General suggested use of UteriCalm is 60 drops, two times each day in a small amount of water (120 drops total a day).

  13. Avatar

    Thanks – I’m doing a frozen embryo transfer, not IUI, but sounds like same thing… UterineWise Kit isn’t the one to use? Utericalm is.

  14. Avatar

    Hi – I might be blind but I can’t find where to purchase the UteriCalm product. I searched for it but a product page didn’t come up. Could you point me in the right direction?
    I had a BFN on my first FET last month unfortunately and I’m planning to do the next one in Feb. Is it best to do the utericalm the cycle before I start the FET process or does it need more time to work? Also does it help with implantation?



    • Dear Sheila,

      UteriCalm can be started prior to beginning FET, we suggest 3 months prior, used during with your doctor’s approval and then through the first trimester of pregnancy. UteriCalm is specifically formulated to promote a calm, healthy uterus in preparation for implantation. UteriCalm is available from the Natural Fertility Shop.

      All my best!

    • Avatar

      Hi – One follow up question. Is it better to do Utericalm or the UterineWise Kit?



    • Hello Sheila!

      The UterineWise Kit is not intended to be used during or after IUI and has a very different purpose than UteriCalm. Given what I know you are preparing for, I cam not sure that the UterineWise Kit is what you are looking for.

  15. Avatar

    I am preparing for FET in September 2015. I just want to know if I can use Maca, Vitex and Fertilica natural progesterone cream before FET. I have PCOS.

    • Dear Ndapanda,

      If not on any fertility medications in preparation for FET, Fertilica Maca, Vitex and Natural Progesterone Cream could be considered. It would be best to be guided by your healthcare provider in using Fertilica Natural Progesterone Cream. He/she is best able to help you determine the proper dose for your specific needs. We also feel the 5 steps outlined in this article are important to focus on.

      Best wishes!

  16. Avatar

    Should L-Arginine and other vitamins taken during FET cycle (while on estrogen and progesterone) and after transfer?

    • Dear Jessica,

      A whole-food prenatal multivitamin, a quality omega-3 supplement like Fertilica Cod Liver Oil and many individual vitamin (vitamin D, calcium, vitamin C for example) can be taken during FET and after. It would be best however to talk to your doctor about which he feels are okay to continue during this time. L-Arginine may not be one of them.

      Best wishes!

  17. Avatar

    Wonderful ideas to help! We have tried various teas also! Many prayers! B

  18. Avatar

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I’m currently day 9 of my cycle and doing a FET this cycle. I am still spotting a little from my period which is strange for me. I had a miscarriage and D&C back in November last year from a FET and since then my cycle has been a bit longer with slower periods that last longer and aren’t as heavy in flow. I was wondering if there is anything I can do this late to help balance my hormones? I am doing a natural FET so only start getting blood tests on Monday which will be day 11 for me.
    I also did a Castor Oil pack this afternoon as that is what i did last time before my FET and it seemed to help (even though I miscarried at 7 weeks). Is this o.k to do up until transfer?

    • Dear Anita,

      Supporting hormone balance does indeed take time. We can not suggest using herbs with hormone balancing actions during FET. Steps, 1,3,4 & 5 of this article can be considered as you prepare for FET, although nutritional supplements like L-Arginine should only be used if being guided in doing so by your healthcare provider. Castor Oil Therapy and Self Fertility Massage should be discontinued when you begin the FET process. It is not to be used at any time during FET.

      I wish the very best!

  19. Avatar

    Hi All,
    I had a fresh IVF cycle that resulted in BFN. We have two frosties left, planning on doing FET with my March cycle. I had a fertility cleanse before my Fresh IVF cycle, should I do another fertility cleanse with my next cycle?
    I am starting acupuncture this weekend. The thing that concerns me is that my FSH level after the fresh cycle elevated a lot (at 24). I am now taking Vitex and Maca as well. Can I take UteriCalm while taking Maca and Vitex. Should I even bother taking Maca and Vitex as I will be doing an FET? Any guidance will be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • Hello Tina!

      I am sorry to hear IVF was not successful! How are you doing?

      The Fertility Cleanse is suggested only two times a year with, in general, a 6 month break. When did you last do a Fertility Cleanse? It may be worth considering again to detoxify from any medications you were taking and as a foundational step to support uterine health.

      UteriCalm can be taken with Fertilica Vitex and Fertilica Maca. Let me share a bit of information about each to help you see how they in fact may be important during this time.

      Fertilica Vitex has been found to support most types of hormone imbalance. It may support a healthy luteal phase, as well as healthy progesterone levels, both important for healthy implantation. The great part is that is does this without containing any hormones itself.

      Fertilica Maca is a fertility super food that provides 31 different minerals and 60 different micronutrients, is a foundational supplement for not only sperm and egg health, but energy levels and libido, and even thyroid health. It also works to nourish the endocrine and immune systems, and supports a healthy stress response in the body.

      I hope this is helpful and wish for you great success!

    • Avatar

      Elizabeth Thank you for your response! I completed Fertility Cleanse with my September 2014 cycle.

    • Hi Tina!

      You are welcome! Another Fertility Cleanse could be considered. It could potentially be started during the February cycle (5 months post the first Fertility Cleanse). Re-read about Fertility Cleansing to learn its benefits as you decide where to start.

  20. Avatar

    Hi All
    I will be having FET next week. We only have one snow baby left – really hoping, praying it will work this time. I have a fresh transfer from the same cycle that did not work. I need this one to stick. Any advice? THANKS:)

    • Dear Olga,

      I wish you the very best! While we suggest preparing for FET for a minimum of three months prior to the transfer, steps 1, 3, 4 & 5 of this article can certainly still be taken into consideration.

      Sending positive thoughts and energy!

  21. Avatar

    Dear Dalene,
    I did my 1st transfer on October 31 2014 and it was not successful. I have 2 embryos left now and I’m planning to start the FET process by Dec end (transfer may happen by Jan 2nd week). I read about the 5 steps for preparing for a FET. I have some questions. Please answer at your earliest.
    1. If I complete fertility cleansing this cycle (Most likely I will be starting the cleansing on Nov 26), can I start the FET process during the immediate next cycle? or do you advise I wait for few months after cleansing to start my FET?
    2. How many days should I do the castor oil pack and can I do it after FET process starts and also after the transfer?


    • Hello Raji!

      Dalene asked me to offer you guidance on her behalf. We are sorry your first frozen embryo transfer was not successful. How are you doing?

      The Fertility Cleanse should be completed entirely before beginning the FET process which can happen the cycle following the cleanse if you wish. Castor Oil Therapy can be used 4-6 times a week not during menstruation and should be discontinued when you begin the FET process. It is not to be used at any time during FET.

      Best wishes to you!

  22. Avatar

    Hi, I just got a bfn on my first ivf…… Luckily I got some frozen embryo. But I don’t want to rush it and do the FET right away. I was thinking rest 3 months, doing the fertility cleanse as soon as I get my period, then take the UteriClam on the 2nd and the 3rd month. Does it sound like a good plan? Also my doctor told me to take the birth control if my 2nd period didn’t start. Is it ok to take the birth control and UteriClam together? And is it ok to take my medications for FET and UteriClam together? Thank you very much.

    • Hi Felicia,

      Your plan sounds great! The herbs in UteriCalm do not have an action on hormones, so that herbal blend is fine to continued throughout the entire IVF/FET process. My fingers are crossed for you that this will be you and your baby’s time! -Dalene