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A Closer Look Into Embryo Transfer Procedure For IVF

Written and reviewed by
Dr. K.D Nayar 89% (758 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DGO, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Dip.Obstetrtics, FICOG
IVF Specialist, Delhi  •  45 years experience
A Closer Look Into Embryo Transfer Procedure For IVF

Among the assisted reproductive techniques, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is quite popular and offers hope when other infertility procedures fail to work. The procedure involves the female egg being combined with the male sperm outside the body (in vitro condition), and as a final step, the grown embryo is placed inside the uterus.

Chances of getting pregnant is dependent upon Embryo Quality and Endometrial receptivity.

Embryo transfer is a crucial step of the procedure, and following is an account of the process that would give you a detailed insight into what really happens before and after embryo transfer.

The entire process involved-
Before an embryo is transferred, a series of procedures happen.

Step 1: (Ovarian Stimulation)
In the very first step of embryo transfer, the patient undergoing the IVF treatment is given injections containing medicines that are meant to boost the development of the eggs in the follicles of the ovary.

Step 2: (Egg retrieval)
As the follicles start to mature or develop completely, the eggs are removed carefully.

Step 3: (Fertilization)
In the designated environment, the collected eggs are then fused with the collected sperm to form the embryo.

Step 4: (Incubation)
After the successful fertilization is successful, the embryos are cultured in an incubator.

Step 5: (Choose the best embryo for transfer)
If the process is successful and once embryos are formed, the good quality embryo is chosen from them and then transferred into the uterine cavity to complete the procedure.

Are there any risks?
Embryo transfer is a critical step of the infertility procedure and would need an expert to handle the process. There are a few risks associated with the embryo transfer procedure. However, those risks are very minimal. One such associated risk is the embryo getting implanted in the wrong place, for example in the fallopian tube. Another issue that could occur is the loss of embryos during the procedure of transferring them from the in vitro environment to inside of the uterus.

Is it a painful process?
The embryo transfer is similar to a pap smear and would need no anaesthesia for the woman, however, some women prefer to be on sedation during the process. The entire procedure of embryo transfer is a painless one, though some women may experience mild cramping which is quite normal.

Precautions to be taken after embryo transfer-
After the embryo has successfully been transferred to the uterus, the patient must lie on her back for a while before leaving the clinic. Also, the woman is advised rest and limit physical activity.

The chances of getting pregnant increases with the quality of embryo, and hence it is imperative that your doctor chooses the best quality embryo for transfer into the uterus. Also, the position of placing the embryo is extremely important. You can discuss with your doctor regarding these aspects while you are undergoing the treatment. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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