Superstitions and Traditions for Embryo Transfer
As with many things in life such as playing in an important sports game, taking a test, buying a home, getting pregnant, or anything “high stakes,” there are generally superstitions and traditions that people do in hopes of helping them come away with a favorable outcome. Embryo transfer is certainly no different! And for anyone going through this process, it’s most certainly high stakes. We found some really interesting superstitions, traditions, and plain old wives’ tales when doing our research. Take a look at just a few!
1. Eat pineapple before transfer
Perhaps one of the most popular superstitions is to eat pineapple before an embryo transfer. Pineapple (especially the core surrounding the fruit) contains bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This is thought to help increase blood flow, thus helping with implantation. So load up on those pineapples, ladies!
2. Wearing lucks socks to transfer
Since socks are the only article of clothing you can keep on during the embryo transfer procedure, wearing a pair of lucky socks is one of the biggest traditions surrogates have. With green being the color of luck, and orange and yellow representing fertility in some other cultures, perhaps you could double your chances by making your socks one of those three colors!
3. Surround yourself with turtles
This one is a triple whammy. In some cultures (Chinese, Polynesian, and African), turtles represent fertility. In other cultures, they represent luck. Turtles are also seen a symbol of womb health and receptiveness, as they are water animals (water represents the womb), and are associated with protective energy. So go to the pet store and get a turtle (just kidding…they can get kinda stinky – also, some can carry salmonella, which would be decidedly UNlucky). Get a turtle charm bracelet, necklace, earrings or whatever your turtle pleasure. Or turtle socks (that are green, orange or yellow) and kill several birds with one stone.
4. Acupuncture right after transfer
This is a newer tradition, and they’re still conducting studies, so the results are inconclusive on if it actually helps embryo implantation. However, what they do know is that acupuncture increases blood flow and decreases stress, both of which are good for the process. Many doctors are recommending acupuncture now, so we’ll push that closer to the category of medical advice than old wives tale!
5. Clown exposure after the transfer
There was an Israeli study a few years ago where the chances of implantation were 50% higher (!) for the women who had been exposed to clowning right after embryo transfer. I have be honest here, I still have to say NO to that one. Have you seen the movie, IT?
6. Eat french fries after transfer
Who is going to say no to french fries? I mean, really? But…unfortunately, there really isn’t much scientific evidence behind this one. There are lots of unscientific claims ranging from fat making the uterus more sticky so the embryo has a place to nest in all the way to doctors recommending patients at risk for OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) eat salty foods after egg collection. Supposedly the fluid needs something to bind to so it can be moved out of the body (which is why eating salty food is recommended after IVF stimulation); which I guess (if it’s true) makes sense for a fresh transfer, but what about all those frozen embryo transfers? Either way, we say, eat your french fries, girl. You deserve it!
7. Sending “sticky thoughts”
You may have heard people wishing surrogates or the intended parents “sticky thoughts” on the day of the embryo transfer or putting sticky post its up around the house with inspirational quotes on them. This all has to do with wishing people luck that the embryo will “stick” to the uterus.
So, grab a bowl of pineapples, put on your green socks (or yellow or orange!) and turtle necklace and have a successful embryo transfer. But don’t forget to get some acupuncture done right after as you stare at a clown picture and eat your french fries. Sticky thoughts, my friends.
Do you have a favorite superstition or tradition for embryo transfer that was not on our list that you swear by? We’d love to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.