Single-Embryo Transfer: Uterine Preparation

Single-embryo transfer and proper preparation of the uterus is paramount to achieving a successful pregnancy. The reproductive process is a delicate balance of hormones and timing, and  properly preparing the uterus for the single-embryo transfer greatly increases the chances of a viable pregnancy. The IVF procedure has been used for nearly 25 years, and millions of children have been conceived and carried successfully to term.

How the Uterus Is Prepared for the Transfer

In order to prepare the uterus for implantation of the embryo, the hormone progesterone is typically administered by injection, vaginal suppository or gel. The function of progesterone is to improve the lining of the uterus in order to receive the embryo. It also helps the embryo grow and develop. Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body, and has been safely used in IVF for years, although the FDA does caution about adverse effects.

Other Ways to Prepare for the Transfer

It is important to minimize stress during this time. Extreme stress can affect the hormone levels of the body and affect the single-embryo transfer process. This can be difficult, as most couples involved in IVF and resolving infertility issues are under a great deal of stress because of the situation. However, using meditation, relaxation techniques and even acupuncture have been shown to have a beneficial effect on those attempting to conceive using IVF.

Nutrition Supplements That May Help

There are also many nutritional supplements that may help the female body prepare for a single-embryo transfer. It is recommended to consult with a fertility specialist, the treating physician and/or a trained herbalist before adding any herbal or nutritional supplements to a fertility regimen for optimal results.

  • L-Arginine: an amino acid not manufactured by the body but attained solely through diet, L-Arginine is thought to increase the chances of a healthy implantation in the uterine wall and to contribute to the overall health of the developing fetus. Although available in foods such as meat and protein, sometimes diet alone is not enough to sustain healthy levels of this building block of life.
  • Red raspberry leaf: used for centuries to enhance fertility, red raspberry leaf is thought to improve pelvic muscle tone, including the most important pelvic muscle, the uterus. Typically administered in a tea form, red raspberry leaf is considered safe to use for women preparing for pregnancy.

The IVF procedure is dependent on a healthy uterus and is a delicate balance of timing and hormones. Preparing the uterus for single-embryo implantation starts with good nutrition and diet and following the directions of the fertility specialist closely. Many couples have had great success with IVF, especially when properly prepared for the single-embryo transfer.

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