If you are traveling abroad or away from your home for fertility treatment, you may be wondering how soon you can travel again after your treatment. Let’s talk a bit about the travel timeline.
When Can I Travel After Egg Retrieval?
Traveling after an egg retrieval is very safe. However, it’s always important to keep a few things in mind when planning a trip home.
- Estrogen levels are elevated during a stimulation cycle. If you grew and retrieved more eggs, your estrogen levels are likely to be higher. This may result in symptoms like bloating and fluid retention and in extreme cases increased blood clotting. Bloating and fluid can make air travel uncomfortable, but do not cause risks for traveling.
- Although the increased risk of blood clots is rare – it can be reduced by walking around the plane, staying hydrated, and wearing compression stockings.
Another challenge in traveling after an egg retrieval is the size of your ovaries. Even though your eggs have been retrieved, your ovaries will still be large for 10-12 days. The ovary is connected to the body by a small group of blood vessels. Enlarged ovaries can rotate or undergo “torsion” which can cause serious pain that may require surgery to correct. Just as you should be careful exercising after an egg retrieval, you want to be careful making sudden twisting or jarring movements. These types of movements can include:
- Lifting heavy objects while packing or getting into your vehicle
- Putting your bag in the overhead compartment of the plane
- Retrieving a bag off the baggage claim belt
The type of anesthesia can vary between different egg retrieval centers. Many clinics use a strong pain medication and a medicine that makes you disoriented for a short while after the procedure. In addition, some centers use medications that can put you to sleep for the procedure. Most of the symptoms of the anesthesia wear off 2-4 hours after the retrieval and it is then safe to travel.
You want to be careful not to drink alcohol for 24 hours after the procedure and have a responsible person with you for the rest of the day if you go to sleep for the procedure. Check with your doctor before booking your return trip to ask when it is safe to return, but usually, you can fly the same night or the next day.
Traveling After Embryo Transfer
If you are having an embryo transfer, you can usually travel the same day. It is common to be worried about doing too much too soon after the transfer, but data show pregnancy rates are not lower even on those who went back to regular activity immediately.
The Destination Fertility Team