Embryo Transfer

The embryos ready for transfer are transferred into the uterus with a thin catheter between 2-6 days following oocyte pick-up. In routine implementations, the transfer is performed on 2.-3.-5. day. However, the transfer is performed on 4th or 5th day for those with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and on 5.-6. day for those to whom blastocyst will be applied. Selection of embryos to be transferred is very important. The best quality embryos which have split in accordance with development stage are selected.

Number of embryos to be transferred varies between 1-2. While determining number of embryos, age of the woman, quality of embryos and previous IVF trials are taken into consideration. In accordance with the relevant regulation in Turkey, 1 embryo is transferred in the first two (2) IVF treatments for those under age 35, and then maximum 2 embryos are transferred. For those aged 35 and over, maximum 2 embryos can be transferred regardless of the previous IVF trials.

ET operation should be performed with the least trauma. In order to determine how the real transfer will be performed, trial transfer should be performed previously and cervical duct and position and length of uterus should be noted. Under the light of this information, the real transfer can be easier.

In our center, ET operation is performed under ultrasound control. The advantage of ultrasound control is to place catheter more easily and to trace exactly where the embryos are placed within the uterus.

The patient is prepared as if she will undergo a gynecologic examination on the examination table. The cervix is marked by placing speculum to the vagina. The vagina and cervical duct is cleaned using sterile serum or special solutions. While monitoring on ultrasound screen, the external catheter used for ET is passed through the cervix and cervical duct and then the endometrium is reached. After passing the cervical duct for 1,5-2 cm, the end of external catheter should not be advanced anymore.

After being sure that the external catheter is at the right place, the embryologist places the embryos to be transferred into the internal catheter. The embryos within a small amount of liquid exist at the end of internal catheter. Then, the internal catheter carrying embryos is advanced through the external catheter and reached to endometrium. After the embryos are left in the most appropriate region of endometrium with the help of an injector, the catheters are withdrawn slowly. During the transfer, the manipulations which will lead to contractions, bleeding or trauma in the uterus should be avoided, and the catheter should not touch fundus part of endometrium.

After completion of the transfer, the catheter is controlled by the embryologist. In that way, it is confirmed that the embryos have been placed.

After the transfer, the patient rests for 1-2 hours and then she is sent to her home. Long period of resting doesn’t increase the chance of pregnancy. In IVF treatments, the last stage for pregnancy is Embryo Transfer. After this stage, the patient waits for 12-14 days until pregnancy test. The patient can continue her daily life within this period. Sexual act, overstrain and sportive activities are prohibited.
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