The embryo transfer process can be one of the most exciting moments for you as a surrogate — but it can also be extremely nerve-wracking. All of your intended parents’ hopes and dreams will ride on the success of the embryo implanting, most of which is up to your doctor and your body.
While the likelihood of an embryo implanting is mostly out of your control, surrogates like you have developed a few fun transfer day traditions to bring luck and good vibes to a day that’s equal parts exciting and anxiety-inducing. Whether or not these traditions are proven to increase the chance of a successful embryo transfer, they can be great ways to channel your nervous energy and connect with other surrogates.
1. Lucky Socks
One of the biggest traditions that surrogates have on transfer day is wearing lucky socks during the embryo transfer procedure. Socks are usually the only item of clothing you can keep on during the medical procedure, and there’s an old Chinese saying that warm feet increase the chance of a warm and welcoming uterus.
2. “Sticky Thoughts”
Telling someone “sticky thoughts” is the surrogate’s way of saying good luck. This phrase comes from the idea that the stickier and thicker the uterus lining is, the more likely an embryo is to implant.
Before the embryo transfer procedure, many surrogates eat different food designed to increase the likelihood of implantation. One of these is pineapple, whether it’s the core or the surrounding fruit. Pineapple contains bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can be seen as a benefit for fertility in possibly preventing implantation issues for women.
Natural fertility experts caution against ingesting pineapple too early in your ovulation and after the transfer process. However, many surrogates heartily enjoy pineapple in the days leading up to their medical procedure.
4. French Fries
Many surrogates also eat French fries after transfer. It’s unclear how this tradition came about but, with a fresh transfer, doctors usually recommend an increase in sodium to reduce the chance of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in egg donors. The word of beneficial salt in French fries has seemed to spread to gestational surrogates, even though they are not subject to OHSS through fresh egg harvesting. But you’ll rarely find a surrogate who will turn down French fries, no matter how much benefit they actually have in the implantation process!
5. Laughing After Transfer
Here’s an interesting one: A 2012 study in the journal of Fertility and Sterility stated that women who laugh shortly after an embryo transfer showed higher rates of successful implantation. For this reason, some surrogates decide to giggle it up right after transfer, like by watching a comedy when they’re often required to rest anyway. Laughter reduces stress, which can affect your body in many ways. It only makes sense that reducing this stress would increase the likelihood of an embryo implanting into a woman’s uterus.
6. Wearing Green
Green is a color that represents fertility, which is why you’ll see many surrogates wearing green lucky socks, painting their toes green, or just wearing green in general in the days leading up to their transfer day. Other colors like orange and yellow also represent fertility in other cultures.
7. Symbols of Turtles
Similarly, a turtle also represents fertility in many cultures, including Chinese, Polynesian and African cultures. In other cultures, it’s a symbol of good luck. Some surrogates decide to wear a turtle charm or symbol during their embryo transfer process to take advantage of those good vibes.
Whether or not you are superstitious, these traditions can be a fun way to prepare for the embryo transfer process and connect to the larger community of surrogates out there. For more surrogate-specific tips and topics, check out surrogate forums like SurroMoms Online and All About Surrogacy.