A maximum of 2-3 embryos may be transferred in each cycle after full discussion with you in order to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies. The procedure takes place in the operating theater but anesthesia is not usually necessary. Very rarely four embryos are transferred. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the cervix is exposed and cleaned with sterile water. The embryos are then drawn up in to a catheter, which, is then carefully and gently inserted through the carvix (neck of the womb) into the uterus. After transfer, the catheter is carefully checked by the embryologist to make sure that all that embryos have been carefully transferred. Embryo transfer is under ultrasound guidance.
There are many types of embryo transfers
· Fresh embryo transfer: Once eggs have been fertilized, they are cultured for 1-2 days. The best embryos are chosen to transfer directly to the woman’s uterus.
· Frozen embryo transfer: Any healthy embryos that were not used in the first transfer can be frozen and stored for future use. These can be thawed and transferred to the uterus.
· Blastocyst embryo transfer: If many healthy embryos develop after the fertilization, it is common to wait to see if the embryos develop into blastocyst. According to a study in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice, blastocyst embryo transfer has a higher success rate than the standard embryo transfer on day 3.
After the Transfer
The embryo cannot fall out! Patients often prefer to relax a few minutes after the embryo transfer, but studies do show that the length of time lying down after the procedure does not impact success.
We review medications and instructions, and then give the patient or couple a few minutes alone to reflect on the transfer. It’s such a special day. Then we recommend that the patient gets dressed, uses the bathroom and goes home to relax.