Embryo Transfer: What Is It?
An embryo transfer is the final stage of the IVF process. A fertilized egg that has been allowed to develop for numerous days is transferred to the woman’s womb, where it will probably implant, develop into a foetus, and result in the birth of a healthy baby.
The IVF embryo is placed in a catheter, then placed through the woman’s vagina and cervix and placed in the uterus or womb. Although anaesthesia is rarely required in this procedure,
The procedure for Embryo transfer
The following steps are generally followed for the procedure of embryo transfer in the woman’s uterus.
- Consultation with a specialist
- Baseline ultrasound
- Medicines (if needed)
- Transfer of Embryos
Preparing for the procedure of Embryo Transfer
Patients can carry some music to hear on the specific day of the embryo transfer. It is recommended that patients refrain from consuming coffee or soft beverages prior to the transfer. If the patient has a cold, cough, or allergy, they should let the doctor know because they may require a cough suppressant. Patients should go to the doctor’s clinic with at least half of their bladder filled, as this will allow the doctor and nurse to visualise the uterus or womb with the abdominal ultrasound.
The embryologist will verify the patient’s individuality immediately prior to embryo transfer. This is one of several precautions doctors take to protect patients’ embryos.
The procedure for transferring embryos and recovering
The embryo transfer is performed without anaesthesia and has the same sensation as a Pap smear. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the whole process (the transfer itself is of 10 minutes only). The cervix is cleaned using a speculum inserted into the vagina. The embryos are loaded into a soft catheter and then passed through the cervix into the womb or uterus. When the catheter passes through the cervix into the uterus, the patient doesn’t feel any sensation.
The patient and her partner or guardian will see the transfer on the computer screen because the doctor uses an abdominal ultrasound to supervise the embryo transfer. Patients will also be shown a photograph of the embryos that have been transferred.
Post embryo transfer care
After the transfer is complete, the patient’s nurse will flatten the legs. The woman must stay relatively relaxed and comfortable during this period. Typically, patients will rest for fifteen to thirty minutes following the transfer.
To aid the recovery, patients will also be asked to follow the instructions mentioned below by their doctor:
- Avoid any strenuous activity, such as aerobics or running. Patients can gradually increase their activities after 8 hours of embryo transfer acceptable to taking the stairs slowly and walking short distances of not more than a half-mile.
- Vaginal creams, lubricants, and spermicides should be avoided.
- Avoid swimming.
- Avoid driving and running
- For one week, refrain from engaging in penetrative sexual intercourse or orgasm.
- To stay hydrated, drink a surplus of clear fluids.
It is essential to comprehend that at this level, success in embryo implantation and resulting pregnancy will be determined primarily by the embryo’s health rather than the patient’s actions.
Are frozen embryos transfer better than fresh embryos transfer?
There has been ample discussion about the success and advantages of frozen and fresh embryo transfers. According to several fertility consultants and embryo transfer procedure providers, utilising frozen embryo transfers during assisted reproductive technology results in an elevated pregnancy success ratio than utilising fresh embryos.
Nonetheless, success rates are not the only component to consider. Depending on your circumstances, a fresh embryo transfer may be preferable to a frozen transfer. Let us look at what you should think about when choosing between fresh and frozen embryo transfers during your In Vitro fertilization journey.
What is the difference between frozen and fresh embryo transfer?
Ovarian stimulation and monitoring are the first steps in both the frozen and fresh transfer of embryos. When the eggs are mature, the woman will have an egg retrieval procedure, in which a specialist embryologist will fertilize the eggs of patients with the sperm of her partner or sperm from a donor.
After both the eggs and sperm have been collected and fertilized, a fresh transfer of the embryo will take place three to five days later by transporting the fertilized embryo again into the women’s uterus.
A frozen embryo transfer, also known as FET, on the other hand, can happen years after a woman’s egg recovery and fertilization with partner or donor sperm. During the process of FET, fertility specialists will plant a defrosted embryo into the woman’s uterus in the hopes of a successful pregnancy.
Rates of transfer success for fresh and frozen embryos
Many fertility hospitals and clinics have found that using frozen embryos rather than fresh embryos during embryo transfer increases success rates. What was discovered is as follows:
- According to a 2018 research broadcast in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome infertility had elevated live birth ratios with frozen embryo transfer.
- A study was also published the same year in the British Medical Journal. Depending on regular periods and gonadotropin-releasing hormones, they discovered no elevated rates of continuous pregnancy or lived birth in patients who used FET.
- A study also discovered that using high-quality and robust embryos on aged women during embryo transfers has no negative impact on implantation or live birth ratios, contradicting previous findings.
Embryo transfer is the last and final stage of the in vitro fertilization journey. Fertilized eggs are transferred into the uterus of women by a specialist, where they get implanted and result in a healthy pregnancy. Women should take some preventive measures mentioned above to ensure no damage to the implanting embryos in the uterus. There has been an ongoing debate on whether frozen embryo transfer is better than fresh embryo transfer. According to many specialists and research, it has been found that success rates are high for frozen embryo transfer.
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