All you need to know about the Embryo Transfer procedure!

embryo freezing

All you need to know about the Embryo Transfer procedure!

Embryo transfer is considered to be a critical procedure that forms one of the final steps of In vitro fertilization. It is a simple technique that is recognized as a major determinant of the current IVF success. This technique takes place within the same cycle when the egg is picked up and through the same IVF process. So, this technique is called Fresh Embryo Transfer as the embryos will be transferred in the same cycle.

In case the process takes place in another cycle by using frozen embryos, then it is called Frozen Embryo Transfer or embryo freezing. Both these procedures will have different results, based on the patient you are dealing with. But most of the time, FET or Frozen Embryo Transfer is targeted to be a better success rate as the body remains in a normal state without ovarian stimulation. 

The step-by-step module:

Understanding the ET process step by step is always a great call to consider. So, let’s focus on the points in detail for better understanding. Being a patient, learning a bit more about the process will help you to stay ahead of the process and to see if you are getting desired results or not from chosen professionals.

  • First, let’s start by saying that ET is a sterile procedure. So, it will be covered in an operating room. 
  • Patients might have gone through dummy or mock ET before starting with the IVF treatment.
  • For this process, doctors won’t need anesthetic support. It is only required if the patient is anxious or known to have a history of difficult ET.
  • If you want, you can have a light breakfast while going through the process. But, if anesthesia needs to be given, then you are suggested to fast.
  • When the day comes for embryo transfer, the doctor will inform about the fertilization rate, and embryo quality and counsel regarding the number of embryos to be transferred. Extra embryos will be taken for cryopreservation.
  • The number of embryos that you are planning to transfer is decided based on the patient’s age, along with the good quality embryos available, previous IVF results, and the patient’s preference.
  • In this current decision-making, the embryologist will take active participation to cover. 
  • For visualizing the uterus trans-abdominally, it is mandatory for the patient to have a full bladder.
  • Then the patient’s file will get reviewed for the ultrasound picture of the said uterus and also comments on mock embryo transfer.
  • Finally, the patient gets to lie down on the operation table with their legs folded at her knees. When the patient is in a promising position and the expert is ready, it is time for a trans-abdominal scan to visualize the cervix, uterus, and endometrial line. The private parts will get cleaned up and the legs remain covered with the OT cloth. Later, the cervix is visualized using the Cusco’s bivalve speculum and it will be wiped with gauze dipped in saline.

More on the technique used:

The embryo transfer is mainly done by using the Afterload Technique. Here, the outer catheter is placed first into the uterus and the inner catheter is loaded with the embryos and inserted into the outer catheter.

The clinician will pass the outer sheath through the cervix under proper guidance. After that, the embryologist will load the inner catheter with embryos and hand that to the clinician. The clinician transfers the loaded embryos into the uterus under sonographic guidance. The patient is then told to empty their bladder , rest for 20-30 minutes and further medication  is advised. Patient is then discharged and can resume routine life. Two weeks post transfer patients are called for bHCG blood test to confirm pregnancy.

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