Embryo Transfer

The embryo transfer is one of the most important aspects of the IVF cycle. The embryos are maintained in the laboratory until the third or fifth day after fertilization at which time they are transferred into the uterus in hopes of establishing a pregnancy. Dr. James Akin will discuss with you and your spouse the number of embryos to transfer. The decision is based upon guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the quality of the embryos and the age of the patient.

The embryo transfer is not a painful procedure, therefore no anesthesia or sedation is required. You may eat or drink as you like before your appointment. You do need a full bladder for the procedure. Drink 12-16 ounces of water or beverage of your choice 1 hour before your appointment. Do not wear fragrances of any type. Embryos are very sensitive to any types of vapors or fumes. Your spouse can remain with you during the transfer. The procedure will take place in the same room as the retrieval. A small thin catheter will be used to place the embryos in the uterus while simultaneously using an abdominal ultrasound to insure proper placement.

Following completion of the transfer you may get dressed and leave. Resume your normal activity for the rest of the day. Activity or lack of activity will not have an impact on pregnancy outcome, therefore there is no medical reason to restrict your activity. Bed rest can actually increase your risk of complications such as blood clots. Do refrain from running, aerobic or high impact activity that jars the body. This is because your ovaries are still enlarged from the stimulation. Continue your medications as instructed.

You will find out if you are pregnant two weeks from the day of the retrieval, not the transfer. You will need to have a blood pregnancy test. If your retrieval was on Saturday you may test one day early. Come by our Nicholasville Road location for a lab requisition between 8:30 am and 11:00 am. If you live out of town you may test at the facility of your choice. We will give you an order on the transfer day if this is your wish. Call us two or three hours after your blood has been drawn for your results. It is important to have a blood pregnancy test even if you are spotting or bleeding. You may still be pregnant. We will schedule your first pregnancy ultrasound approximately two and a half weeks from your positive test!