5 ways to prepare for a Frozen Embryo Transfer

acupuncture and Chinese herbs for pregnancy supportIf you are trying to conceive via IVF, and your clinic advises freezing the embryo/s, what else can you do after egg retrieval to improve the odds of your frozen embryo implanting?

Here’s 5 natural things you can do:

1. Take a good prenatal. What’s a good prenatal?

– One that contains natural folate or methylfolate. This is preferred over poorly absorbed synthetic folic acid.

– One that contains active forms of Vitamin B6 and B12

– One that contains Iodine and Selenium. Minerals that are important for fertility and are not always included in prenatal supplements.

Or simply take a recommendation from your practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine. We stock 3 different quality prenatals in the clinic.

Having adequate levels of these vitamins right from the start of pregnancy is important for the health of the baby.

2. Take Vitamin D.

Refer to our supplement guide or your practitioner for dosing instructions.

Vitamin D is important for reducing the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth.

3. Take Vitamin E 600mg daily.

Studies have used 900IU, which is a fairly high dose. To get close to that level, you could take 2 capsules per day in the month before embryo transfer.

In 2019, a study of women with repeated implantation failure found that supplementing with Vitamin E significantly improved lining thickness. Vitamin E boosts blood cell numbers in the uterine lining and promotes the development of new blood vessels.

4. Take L-arginine 6g daily.

Not recommended before egg retrieval as it may compromise egg quality. It has been found that L-arginine can increase endometrial thickness at a dose of 6 grams per day, divided into 4 doses. To be taken after egg retrieval until the transfer.

L-arginine dilates blood vessels thereby improving blood flow.

acupuncture on pregnant woman

5. Have acupuncture!

Acupuncture is surprisingly relaxing. Research has consistently found that in women undergoing IVF, acupuncture reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol.

After transfer, you can stop the Vitamin E and L-arginine, but continue with Acupuncture, Vitamin D and your prenatal until you get a positive test.

If you are trying to conceive naturally, here is information on supplementation for you.

Written by Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)

Dr. Elaine Hickman in clinicElaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China.  She has over 22 years experience in treating many health problems.  Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable.  Elaine has particular expertise in Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Family Medicine and Wellness promotion. She brings extra understanding and knowledge to the table having been through infertility herself.

Elaine is available in clinic in Ivanhoe, Melbourne or via Telehealth/ phone or video chat.

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1. Hashemi Z, Sharifi N, Khani B, Aghadavod E, Asemi Z. The effects of vitamin E supplementation on endometrial thickness, and gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and inflammatory cytokines among women with implantation failure. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019 Jan;32(1):95-102. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1372413. Epub 2017 Sep 12. Update in: J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2022 Dec;35(25):6841. PMID: 28847198.

2. Takasaki A, Tamura H, Miwa I, Taketani T, Shimamura K, Sugino N. Endometrial growth and uterine blood flow: a pilot study for improving endometrial thickness in the patients with a thin endometrium. Fertil Steril. 2010 Apr;93(6):1851-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.062. Epub 2009 Feb 6. PMID: 19200982.

3. So EW, Ng EH, Wong YY, Yeung WS, Ho PC. Acupuncture for frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Jun;20(6):814-21. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.02.024. Epub 2010 Mar 4. PMID: 20382081.

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