Understanding IVF Embryo Transfer

If you have opted to go the IVF route to start a family, the most important consideration to know about the IVF embryo transfer procedure is that it is the last stage in your journey to pregnancy. As soon as your specialist implants the embryo into your womb, your reproductive system takes it from there.

If everything happens well, the healthy implanted embryo connects itself to the uterine lining and continues to grow over the next few days. You might detect early pregnancy signs such as:

  • Nausea or morning sickness
  • supple and tender breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain

Don’t panic if you don’t have any symptoms, though. You can return to your regular routine two weeks following your implantation, but you’ll need to take a pregnancy test during this time. If the test comes back positive, it means that the embryo transfer went well and you’re now expecting! Congrats!

Ultrasound-Guided Embryo Transfer Method

The embryo transfer method appears to be quite similar to a woman’s Pap smear. There must be no discomfort and no need for sedation or other medicines. For embryo transfer, your doctor would use a relatively full bladder. This is beneficial in two ways. First, a moderately full bladder allows an improved ultrasound visualization of the procedure, which helps ensure a smooth and proper transferring of the embryos to the ideal location. It also reveals the (anteverted, “tipped up”) uterus to a more favorable angle, making the procedure easier and less stressful for the uterine wall and embryos.

The IVF embryo transfer tube is filled with embryos (see video) and passed via the cervical incision to the center of the uterine cavity by the fertility expert. Likewise, abdominal ultrasonography is utilized to see the catheter tip’s progress to the proper position. It can be tough to keep the catheter tip in the same plane of the ultrasound wave at all times, but it is important to ensure that the embryos are properly placed.

The embryos are “transferred” to the uterine cavity lining (endometrial wall) by the infertility expert after the catheter tip hits the proper spot. After transferring the embryos, the catheter is gradually withdrawn and inspected for any remaining embryos using a microscope. If the catheter has any remaining embryos (uncommon), the transferring process is repeated instantly, and the catheter is once more inspected.

The Ideal Position For Embryo Implantation During Transfer

Research was conducted to determine the best location for embryo placement in the uterine cavity. The optimum spot is midway between the internal part of the cervix and the uterine fundus in the endometrial cavity (cavity top). The catheter should be kept between the top and bottom of endometrium divisions and should not dissect beneath the endometrial surface. Sub endometrial egg retrievals are what it’s called. Pregnancies are possible with sub endometrial embryo implantation, however, the success rate is lower.

Risks And Precautions Of Embryo Transfers

There are very low risks of embryo transfers. The risks are often linked to heightened hormonal stimulation.

If performed, the woman could also undergo bleeding, anesthesia complications, infections, and changes in her vaginal discharge. The chance of having a miscarriage is almost similar to natural birth.

What to Do After Embryo Transfer to Improve Chances of Success

After the embryo transfer happens, you can’t do too much to change the course. It’s suggested that women have another round of acupuncture after the transfer. Multiple studies indicate the advantages of acupuncture treatment before and after the embryo transfer within an IVF cycle. 14 studies published in Fertility and Sterility suggest that having acupuncture done pre and post IVF embryo transfer has raised the chance of pregnancy by about 35 to 50%