Road to fertility

Your guide to trying to conceive, fertility treatments, genetic testing and your path to pregnancy

What to Expect Day 1 to Day 3 After Embryo Transfer

day 3 after embryo transfer

After embryo transfer, you’ll have to wait around 2 weeks before your pregnancy test. This might not seem like a long time, but if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, 2 weeks can feel like 2 years. After all, until this point in vitro fertilization has been a very hands-on process, with regular check-ups, scans, and blood tests. However, after the transfer, you can feel a little left in the dark – which can be a strange feeling. 

Most couples know that they just have to be patient and hope for the best. That said, many people just can’t help but wonder what’s going on in these crucial first days. So, if you want to know what’s happening in these initial stages, here’s a simple break down of what to expect up to day 3 after embryo transfer. With this information, you can feel confident and secure.

Up to Day 3 After Embryo Transfer

Once your doctor transfers the embryo, you need to wait for it to implant and for your hormone levels to rise. Once an embryo is transferred into the uterus, it normally takes about 10 days until hormone levels are high enough to register on a pregnancy test. In some cases, you may find your test comes out negative on day 10, so it’s important to take another one between 2 and 4 days after. However, below is a day-by-day calendar of what happens up to day 3 after embryo transfer, to help set your mind at ease. It is always best to follow your doctor’s recommendation of when to come in for your first hCG level.

  • First Day: On day 1 after the embryo transfer, the blastocyst – the cluster of cells that could become your baby – will continue to divide.
  • Second and Third Day: On the second and third day, the cells will continue to divide and begin to attach to the uterus lining – this is perhaps the most crucial stage.

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What to Expect After Implantation

After the third day, the blastocyst will embed deeper and attach to the endometrial bloody supply. After this stage, every woman’s experience will vary; some will experience some more spotting, whereas others will not. If the embryo implants, it will begin to develop, and placenta cells will begin to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is the hormone that’s picked up in pregnancy tests, which raises progesterone levels to sustain the growing embryo. One week after embryo transfer, the cluster of cells will begin to form into the fetus.

How to Improve Chances of Implantation

Many couples ask how they can improve their chances of falling pregnant after embryo transfer. Most fertility specialists recommend that you take it easy for a day or so. Afterward, you can continue your routine as normal, although many doctors suggest you avoid vigorous exercise or hot baths. During the period leading up to the tenth day, it’s best to take your mind off things – focus on work or start a new project to help make the time pass quicker. Meanwhile, your fertility specialist will be on hand to advise you in the days to come.

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