What is Embryo Transfer and How Does It Work?

The last step in the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure is IVF embryo transfer. Medications are used in IVF to induce the production of mature and healthy eggs from the ovaries. These eggs are extracted and fertilized in a laboratory, resulting in the formation of an embryo. The embryo is then transplanted into a woman’s uterus. Once the embryo is implanted inside the uterus, pregnancy occurs.

Who Is Embryo Transfer For?

Embryo transfers are commonly conducted as a component of IVF. It’s frequently advised when a hopeful parent is experiencing fertility issues, such as:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fallopian tube dysfunction
  • Ovulation problems, like the ones caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • And other medical problems that contribute to infertility

It might also be utilized if the hopeful parent(s) don’t want their potential kid to inherit a genetic condition. Eggs or sperm donors may be utilized in some instances where embryo transfers are conducted. If you decide to freeze the eggs and now want to start having kids, you’ll also require an embryo transfer.

What Happens Before an Embryo Transfer?

What occurs prior to an embryo transfer is determined by the transfer type. Fresh embryo transfer, multiple embryo transfers, cleavage stage embryo transfer, and blastocyst stage embryo transfer are all examples of embryo transfers.

What Happens Before a Fresh Embryo Transfer?

The transfer of embryos that haven’t been frozen is known as a fresh embryo transfer. These transfers are usually performed 3-5 days after retrieving the eggs.

Prior to the transfer, the woman is given medicines that aid in the development of mature and healthy eggs. Blood tests and ultrasound are utilized to observe the whole process, which aids in determining the best time for egg collection and embryo transfer.

Following egg retrieval, the eggs and sperm are fertilized in a specialized lab and allowed to mature for 3-5 days. This time span lets the embryo develop further into the blastocyst stage, which is the best time for a fruitful embryo transfer — it’s also referred to as a “Day 5” embryo.

What Happens Before a Frozen Embryo Transfer?

A frozen IVF embryo transfer involves thawing previously frozen embryos from prior IVF or donor eggs before transferring them into the woman’s uterus.

Frozen embryos have comparable success percentages as fresh embryos, with the added benefit of letting prospective parents plan ahead of time.

Genetic testing might also be conducted on a frozen embryo. This may incur additional expenditures, but it may minimize your risks of suffering a miscarriage or having a child with a genetic condition. You can also select your baby’s gender.

 The Embryo Transfer Process

Many women relate the process required in an embryo transfer to a pap test. A speculum is used by your fertility doctor to access the vaginal walls. The embryos are guided through the cervix and then into your uterus using a catheter. Ultrasound is utilized to assist in guiding the entire procedure.

The surgery is usually rapid and painless, with no need for sedatives. Following the procedure, your fertility specialist will offer you information and recommendations. After that, blood work is planned for roughly a week, as is a pregnancy test ten days later.

What Happens After an Embryo Transfer?

You might experience vaginal discharge, cramps, and bloating after an embryo transfer operation. The pregnancy test results are determined during your follow-up appointment, which is scheduled 10 to 14 days later. The range is a result of the fact that you “skip” the precise 10-day mark; it isn’t important for determining your pregnancy. A test can also be performed on day 12 and might be repeated in two days to validate your results. We want to observe a doubling of the pregnancy hormone, referred to as HCG, every two days in the early stages of pregnancy.

Bed rest was once advised after an embryo transfer, however, this is no longer essential. It is recommended that you continue your normal activities while avoiding heavy or intense activity, harsh temperatures, and intercourse.