Embryo transfer is the process of transferring an embryo (a fertilized egg) into the uterus in order to establish a pregnancy. This can be during an IVF cycle (the final stage), using embryos which have been cryopreserved, or with fresh or cryopreserved donated embryos.
Number of days in hospital 1
Overnight stay not required.
Average length of stay abroad 1 weeks
The fertility specialist may first provide medication to prepare the lining of the uterus to receive the embryo.
Number of trips abroad needed 1
BEFORE YOUR TREATMENT
Hormone treatment may be given ahead of embryo transfer to prepare the lining of the uterus. The lining thickens ready for the embryo to implant.
Depending on the patients history, the specialist will decide how many embryos to implant. This is usually 1 or 2, but in special cases where previous IVF attempts have failed, they may implant 3 embryos. With more embryos, there is a higher risk of multiple pregnancies which carry more risks than single pregnancies.
HOW IS IT PERFORMED
The embryo is transferred through the cervix. This is usually straight forward and relatively painless. The vagina is opened using a speculum, and then a catheter (a narrow tube) is passed through the cervix into the uterus using ultrasound guidance. The embryo or embryos are delivered through the tube into the womb.
Patients may feel a small amount of discomfort as a result of the speculum and catheter, but this shouldn't cause any lasting pain.
GOOD TO KNOW
The success rates for embryo transfer are very similar for both frozen (then thawed) embryos and fresh embryos. A recent report found that pregnancy was achieved, on average, in just under 30% of all IVF cycles, with live births in slightly less than 25% of all cycles. However this figure varies substantially - a woman under 35 years old who has IVF has about a 40% chance of having a baby, whereas a woman over 40 has an 11.5% chance.