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What is embryo transfer in IVF?

What is embryo transfer in IVF?

Before we go into embryo transfer, let us understand what in vitro fertilization is. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a type of assisted reproductive technique that allows a male sperm to fertilize a female egg out of the body in an embryology laboratory. It represents the summit of infertility treatment that science has ever uncovered. It entails retrieving female eggs from those who have undergone injectable medicine for ovarian stimulation. In an embryology lab, the male sperm is inserted into the eggs by the embryologist. It causes fertilization, which leads to the formation of zygotes.

A zygote is the single pioneer cell that makes up every individual. For a few days, typically three to five, an embryologist preserves a zygote in an incubator, where it develops and divides into an embryo, a multicellular structure. After fertilization, three to five days are the ideal time for transfer. At this stage, one or more excellent-quality embryos will be transferred into the uterus by your infertility expert. These embryos adhere to the uterine wall and begin developing in preparation for a viable pregnancy. This part of IVF is known as embryo transfer.
Embryo and Fetus

What are the types of embryo transfers?

We can categorize the various forms of embryo transfers based on the transfer day and the frozen state.

1. Fresh Cycle Embryo Transfer:

Fresh cycle embryo transfer is where the IVF expert transfers the embryo after a few days, usually 3–5 days of fertilization. After loading embryos into a catheter, your doctor places these embryos in the womb, where the pregnancy will happen. Usually, doctors do not advise general anesthesia for this non-invasive procedure.

2. Frozen Embryo Transfer:

The embryology team freezes the leftover embryos in anticipation of their future use. Genetic testing, such as PGT, and patient health issues, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), are additional reasons for undergoing the freezing process. They freeze these embryos at very low temperatures and thaw them before transfer. The thawing process brings embryos to room temperature and defrosts them in preparation for transfer. Depending on different conditions, they can transfer these frozen embryos months or years later. Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is the term for the transfer of such embryos. The other steps of the surgical transfer procedure stay the same.

a) Day 3 Embryo Transfer (At Cleavage):

In this type, health professionals transfer embryos after three days of fertilization in the laboratory. By this time, embryos have grown into several cell stages, often six or eight. It refers to the cleavage stage. Nowadays, blastocyst-stage transfers are more prevalent than cleavage-stage transfers because of better pregnancy results.

b) Day 5 Embryo Transfer (Blastocyst):

After five days of fertilization, embryos grow further into many cell stages called blastocysts. A blastocyst is a highly developed and advanced human cell with many characteristic features, such as compactness. The chances of pregnancy are much higher with the transfer of such embryos.

What is the embryo transfer procedure?

Following is the IVF embryo transfer procedure in a stepwise manner.

What are the precautions after embryo transfer?

After transferring the embryos successfully, usually, two weeks later, the next step involves taking a pregnancy test. Your doctor can recommend hormone supplements during this period to boost the embryo’s implantation process and growth. The patient may get back to her regular daily activities following the procedure. Here are some precautions after embryo transfer in IVF.

Do’s after embryo transfer in IVF:

Don’ts after embryo transfer in IVF:

The pregnancy test after IVF frozen embryo transfer or fresh cycle embryo transfer takes place after two weeks. The result will indicate ‘positive’ if the pregnancy is successful; otherwise, it may indicate ‘non-pregnant’ if your body has not accepted the embryo. An IVF specialist presents such results and then determines the next round of action.

What are the signs of early IVF Pregnancy?

It is logical to be keen on indicators following an embryo transfer that could show the procedure’s success. But it’s important to understand that not every sign suggests a good or bad result and that some could be deceptive.

Positive Signs after Embryo Transfer:

Negative Signs after Embryo Transfer:

Which is better: a frozen embryo transfer or a fresh embryo transfer?

It is a common understanding that frozen embryo transfer is better than fresh-cycle embryo transfer. The reality is far more complicated than this. Frozen embryo transfer allows time to treat various conditions, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Very high or low progesterone levels are also an indication of frozen embryo transfer. Hectic use of medications for ovarian stimulation may decrease body progesterone levels. The body needs time to normalize the hormone in such cases. Normal progesterone levels are essential for a successful pregnancy. FET provides time for genetic testing, such as PGT, which increases success rates and decreases the chances of hereditary disease transmission.

On the other hand, freezing and thawing are stressful processes for embryos. Damage can occur to the embryos as a result of the freezing process. Throwing can also affect the quality and overall survival of embryos. Not every embryo can make it through the freezing and thawing procedure.

Due to their quality or viability, certain embryos may not be suitable for freezing as they cannot sustain it. A fresh embryo transfer is the only acceptable option for such embryos. It also saves time for the couple.

In conclusion, frozen embryo transfer is the treatment of choice for the previously described reasons. However, both fresh and frozen embryo transfers are viable options. The decision depends on the specific situation. An infertility specialist decides on your behalf according to your customized conditions and the quality of your embryos.

Which has a better success rate?

IVF frozen embryo transfer and fresh cycle transfer success rates are comparable. This area needs further research, but the current studies show no significant differences in success rates. The freeze-all strategy is only beneficial when dealing with complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or going for genetic testing. Other factors, such as maternal age, are better indicators of success rates.

IVF and Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center:

The Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center is the premier IVF facility in Pakistan, providing cutting-edge infertility treatments, including test-tube babies and assisted reproductive technology (ART). With 26 years of experience in IVF and assisted reproductive techniques, we have a team of exceptional infertility specialists and professional embryologists with extensive experience in Pakistan and internationally. We offer a comprehensive range of infertility treatments, including IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF, TIC (timely intercourse), and PGT (genetic testing). Our IVF treatments are available to patients in all major cities in Pakistan.

How do I contact Australian Concept?

Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center offers a free first consultation online or in-clinic. An infertility coordinator doctor will gather your medical history, arrange any required lab work, and make an appointment with the appropriate infertility specialist. You may book an appointment with Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center doctors in different Pakistani cities using the information below. Contact us or plan a free consulting session now.