All You Need to Know About Embryo Transfer

In vitro fertilization involves a complex series of procedures to help with fertility or help with the conception of a child. During IVF, eggs retrieved from the ovary or donor eggs are fertilized with sperm from your partner or donor. The final step, embryo transfer, is where the resulting embryo is inserted into the womb or uterus, where it ideally implants and creates a pregnancy. Read on to know why you may need embryo transfer Newport Beach and what to expect before, during, and after the process.

Why would I need embryo transfer?

As mentioned above, embryo transfer is the final step of IVF. You may consider IVF when natural fertilization is not an option or has difficulty occurring. This may be due to many reasons, including ovulation disorders, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, genetic disorders, and impaired sperm production.

Before embryo transfer

A few days before embryo transfer, usually between two to three days, the doctor will select the most viable eggs to transfer to the womb. Fertilization occurs in a lab; the fertilized eggs are left to culture for one to two days. If there are multiple good-quality embryos, those left after embryo transfer can be frozen.

In preparation for the embryo transfer, your doctor will discuss the number of embryos produced and the quality of each. The embryologists use grading to determine when and which embryos to transfer. The goal is to limit the number of embryos transferred to lower the number of multiple pregnancies.

What happens during embryo transfer?

The process involved during embryo transfer is similar to that of a pap smear. The doctor inserts a speculum into your vagina to keep the vaginal walls open. Using the guidance of an abdominal ultrasound, the doctor will pass a catheter through the cervix and into the womb. The ultrasound ensures the optimal placement of the agreed number of embryos in the uterus. Finally, the embryos are then passed through the tube and into the womb.

The process rarely requires any sedatives as it is painless. However, some women feel some discomfort as the doctor inserts the speculum. Having a full bladder may also cause some discomfort, but this is a requirement for the ultrasound. The process only takes a few minutes, and you can empty the bladder immediately.

After embryo transfer

Following embryo transfer, you should avoid rigorous physical activity for several days. You may experience bloating, cramping, and vaginal discharge after the embryo transfer. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you will have a follow-up appointment to check if the embryo has been implanted; this shows if the transfer was successful.

The risks of embryo transfer

The risks of an embryo transfer procedure itself are quite low. Usually, these risks are associated with increased hormonal stimulation, increasing the risk of a blood clot blocking a blood vessel.

Women may also experience bleeding and changes in their vaginal discharge. There might also be complications of anesthesia if it is used. A miscarriage happens, but its risk is similar to natural conception.

The possibility or chance of multiple pregnancies is the greatest risk of embryo transfers. Multiple pregnancies occur when several embryos attach to the uterus; this may increase the risk of congenital disabilities and stillbirth.

To learn more about embryo transfer, consult your provider at OC Fertility®.

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