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Fertility Centre Prague, Czech Republic
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How does embryo transfer work?

29.6.2021 · 2 min reading
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The introduction of embryos into the uterine cavity gives not only high hopes, but also brings a number of questions. No wonder - embryo transfer is the finish line of artificial insemination, and if everything goes as planned, you will soon be much closer to your dream. What do you need to know about embryo transfer and what to expect?

Step by step to your baby

Embryo transfer is the last part of the IVF process – before it happens, there is a so-called stimulation, the aim of which is to release healthy eggs. The mature eggs are then very gently removed from the ovary and fertilized with the best sperm of the partner. This is followed by 3-5 days of laboratory embryo cultivation, during which the doctor selects the healthiest embryo(s) and determines the most suitable time for transfer to the uterus.

“I was very scared of the egg retrieval because I had never been under anesthesia before, but in the end, it was such a short procedure that the stress before the procedure itself seemed completely unreasonable to me after all.”

Embryo transfer is done without being put to sleep and is a painless procedure

Unlike the egg retrieval, the embryo transfer takes place without being put to sleep – the doctor inserts the embryos into a flexible catheter, the end of which is being observed by an ultrasound for precise placement of the embryo. When the embryo is inserted into the right place, the doctor removes the catheter and the woman must rest for 15-20 minutes before she can go home. Most women agree that embryo transfer resembles a routine gynecological examination, during which the only discomfort is the introduction of a mirror. The embryo transfer process is usually pain free and rarely requires any sedatives.

What to avoid after the transfer?

After the embryo transfer many women feel anxious as they wait for such a longed-for miracle to take place in their body – but this requires that the embryo is implanted properly in the uterus and also that it is able to develop further. Implantation occurs within 72 hours of embryo transfer, during which doctors advise to relax at home and avoid sexual intercourse, stressful situations, extreme temperatures, hot baths and demanding activities such as lifting heavy things or intense exercise. In short, these days you should only stick to a very basic every day routine. Why? Because for a successful pregnancy, you need the embryos to remain in the uterine cavity and not be pushed into the fallopian tube, which would result in an ectopic pregnancy. Most importantly in the two weeks following the transfer, try to relax, be positive and fill this seemingly endless time as you wait to take a pregnancy test with activities that make you happy.

Do not take a pregnancy test before…

If slight spotting occurs while waiting – do not panic, implantation is accompanied by this symptom in up to a quarter of cases. Finally, the most important question: When can you take a pregnancy test and find out if a miracle has taken place? In any case, a blood pregnancy test should be done on the 14th day after the transfer. Do not take a urine pregnancy test sooner than on the 12th day after the transfer. If the pregnancy test is negative, repeat again in two to three days.

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