Embryo Transfer Procedure In IVF

Embryo Transfer Process Step By Step

Embryo transfers typically occur on Day 5 or even Day 6 post egg retrieval. We still do some Day 3 embryo transfers here at IRMS but as culture media have improved and ideal embryo development is to transfer a blastocyst (an embryo that is approximately 5 days old and consists of some 100 cells) embryo, the majority of our transfers are blastocyst stage embryos.

The procedure usually takes just 10 to 15 minutes, with an additional 30-minute rest period. Sedation is not required but the patient is required to have a mildly full bladder so the physician can visualize the uterus using an abdominal sonogram.

The physician prepares the patient by inserting a speculum to widen the cervix, and swabbing it with a non-toxic solution. The embryologist loads the selected embryo(s) into a specially designed embryo transfer catheter – a very soft, flexible plastic tube. When the patient is appropriately prepared, the embryologist delivers the catheter containing the embryos to the procedure room.

During the procedure, the physician gently threads the catheter through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. Once complete, the embryologist examines the catheter to confirm that all embryos were deposited into the uterus. A small amount of watery discharge is likely post-transfer; this is the fluid that was used to clean the cervix, and is not the culture medium that was transferred with the embryos.

Transfer Guidelines

At IRMS we have a very robust SET (Single Embryo Transfer) Program, because our goal is to help you have a single, healthy baby. However, the decision as to how many embryos will ultimately be transferred is a joint decision between you and your IRMS physician with input about your embryos from our embryology team. That is a big part of our individualized care here at IRMS. Your cycle and embryology development and quality are unique to you and you will have counsel from us as to what we believe to be the best decision in your unique case.