Can I have sexual intercourse after my embryo transfer?

by Maroula Kotsalidou, last updated 10 Feb 2022,

2 min read

“How long should I wait after my embryo transfer to have sexual intercourse with my partner?”

“Would having sex affect my success rates?”

“Would it cause any complications to my health due to the stimulation I underwent?”

All these and many more are a few of the most common questions that patients undergoing treatment ask.

IVF with own eggs

If a patient is undergoing treatment with her own eggs, it would be wise to abstain from sex towards the last days leading up to the egg collection and following this for at least a week. The reason behind this is that as the patient had stimulation, her ovaries grow in size, and sexual intercourse could lead to discomfort, pain and rarely to ovarian torsion.

The ovaries will generally return to their normal size within 7-10 days after the egg collection although they may remain enlarged for a longer period should you conceive.

IVF with egg donation

If a patient is undergoing treatment with donor eggs, then the type of treatment is completely different, and the medications provided do not stimulate the ovaries. Therefore, there is no risk of pain or discomfort during sex.

Moreover, as we proceed to an embryo transfer when the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, implantation will occur in the next 24 hours. If it makes you feel better, you can avoid intercourse for a couple of days.

Can I have sex before the embryo transfer?

In cases where patients undergo an own-egg IVF cycle, sexual intercourse is not contraindicated but do note that as days go by and the ovaries increase in size, it may lead to extreme discomfort and pain. Moreover, if the couple is having sex, it would be a good idea to use a form of barrier, such as a condom.

When having an IUI, sex is not contraindicated, but you need to keep in mind that you need to have two to five days of abstinence to provide a semen sample for the insemination.

What do the recent studies suggest?

A recent study showed that intercourse during the peri-transfer period of an IVF cycle is not harmful to an early pregnancy outcome. In general, we do recommend that sexual intercourse is avoided during the days leading up to the pregnancy test so to reduce the chances of having spotting or light bleeding that may arise from the vascular cervix and may cause emotional distress.

If you still have any concerns regarding what to do and what you need to avoid after your transfer, please contact us to assist you in every step of the way.

Maroula Kotsalidou

Maroula Kotsalidou, BSc, MSc

Maroula is a Midwife and an International Patient Coordinator at the Newlife IVF Greece clinic.

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