Embryo transfer is the final stage of the IVF process wherein mature eggs are retrieved from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized embryo is then transferred to a uterus surgically. This procedure can be performed using a woman’s own eggs and the partner’s sperm. Or it may involve eggs, sperm, or embryos from a known or anonymous donor.
IVF and embryo transfer are required in cases where natural fertilization is not an option, or the couple has a difficulty with conception. There are many reasons for embryo transfer, including possible disorders of ovulation, anatomical disorders of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, ovarian failure, fibroids, genetic disorders, and impaired sperm production of the male partner.
The process of an embryo transfer is similar to a pap smear, with the doctor using a speculum into the vagina to prevent the walls of the vagina from closing in. With the help of ultrasound scan for accuracy, the doctor will then implant the embryo into the uterus with a catheter. The embryos are thus passed on from the catheter and into the womb.
Post Transfer Considerations
The implantation of the embryos can take place up to 72 hours after the embryo transfer and therefore it is required to be comprehensive and adequate for the patient. While it is no longer implied that everyone should have a mandatory period of best rest, it is however advisable in certain cases.
The return to normalcy is a good thing, and we encourage all patients to return to the normal routine of tasks but avoid certain strenuous regimes. This includes exercises, excessive physical labour, sexual intercourse, or a bath. Ideally, the patient should get sufficient rest on returning home from the embryo transfer, not indulge in a lot of work, find time to relax and stay away from stress.
Patients must stick to the routine of medicines prescribed, remain positive at all times, stay away from excessive heat and/or temperature fluctuations and not get too anxious about the pregnancy. It will be a two-week time period between the embryo transfer and a pregnancy test and precautions will be necessary in this time period.