Are 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.
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.
Tip: Castor Oil Packs for Uterine Cleansing
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 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.
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.
- Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D. J., & Stevenson, E. J. (2015). The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients, 7(4), 2801-22. doi:10.3390/nu7042801. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/
- Coleman, E. (February 2012). Reap the Benefits of Beetroot Juice. Retrieved from http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020612p48.shtml
- Paulus, Wolfgang E et al. (April 2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility and Sterility , Volume 77 , Issue 4 , 721 – 724. Retrieved from https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(01)03273-3/fulltext