The day of the embryo transfer is a key moment in an IVF treatment process. We look forward to it and even though we know that success doesn’t depend on us, “we want to do things right” to help the embryo implant as much as possible. Doctors often say you should just go about your “normal life” because many women get pregnant naturally without knowing it and don’t do anything special. But in the case of fertility treatments, the situation is different, because most patients have come a long way to get to the transfer, and they have a lot of emotions and hopes for the outcome. So, it’s “normal” to be nervous or afraid of taking a wrong step.

Dr Isabeth González, a fertility specialist, is well aware of this, because many women ask her on a daily basis what they should do before or after the transfer; whether they should rest, abstain from sex, whether they can take any medication… Her advice, in general, is that it is important to stay calm and do things that make you feel good and allow you to keep your mind entertained and relaxed. “You don’t have to lie down all the time, but you shouldn’t do high-impact sports or those involving a risk of falls (running, jumping, skiing, CrossFit, spinning or body pump classes) or make unnecessary efforts, such as carrying a lot of weight. It’s just common sense,” she explains. “However, I understand that many questions arise, and it’s good to ask them,” she adds.

In this post, she offers some helpful tips.


Stick to your prescribed treatment plan and be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Can I eat everything? You should keep a well-balanced diet including plenty of vegetables, high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. You should avoid eating undercooked meat and raw fish, soft or creamy cheeses such as brie, fresh unpasteurised cheeses and poorly washed fruit and vegetables.

Can I drink alcohol? No, because you should act as if you were already pregnant. Alcohol, like tobacco, is toxic to the organism.

Are there any medicines that I should avoid? Before taking any medication that has not been prescribed to you, you should ask your doctor for advice. In general, you should avoid taking any medicines that are not recommended during pregnancy.

Avoid stress and prioritise positive thoughts, you will feel better.

Is it better to take a sedative or to stay awake during the transfer? The embryo transfer is performed without any sedation unless there is a medical indication for it. The process itself takes less than 15 minutes, it will fly by!

…and after

Do I have to rest? There is no need to stretch or rest on the transfer bed. In fact, you should empty your bladder immediately after the transfer, because if it is full you may have contractions that are not good for the implantation of the embryo. It is also advisable to move around and walk, to activate blood circulation. When you get home, you don’t have to rest, but you should avoid unnecessary physical exertion, such as lifting heavy weights.

Can I go to the gym? Of course! But as we said before, forget about classes that require high physical performance, no heavy lifting or impact sports.

Can I have sex? Yes. The latest studies have shown that there is no difference in the pregnancy rate in women who have had sexual intercourse or not after an embryo transfer.

Can I shower on the same day? Yes, there is no problem.

Can I take a bath or swim? In principle, there is no specific prohibition, but it is always advisable to wait about two hours after inserting the progesterone vaginal pessary and to prevent continuous exposure of your vaginal area to moisture (take off your swimming costume and put on dry underwear).

Is there any medication that I cannot take? As already mentioned, you should always check with your doctor.

What symptoms should I notice? After the transfer you may experience slight implantation bleeding, changes in your breasts (feeling tighter or sore), fatigue, mild abdominal discomfort, occasional nausea, increased need to urinate, increased vaginal discharge… You may or may not have all these symptoms. It is also normal not to notice anything!

When should I see a doctor or go to the hospital? If you are bleeding continually or heavily, if you have a fever or abdominal discomfort that does not go away, contact your doctor or go to the hospital for a check-up.

Can I tell if I am pregnant? No, because the symptoms that indicate a possible pregnancy are the same as those caused by the medication you are taking to favour the implantation and development of the embryo. Therefore, you won’t know until you have the Beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone test. Be patient!

We hope you found this post useful. Remember: do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

The best of luck to all of you!