Embryo transfer

The next step in your in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is to perform an embryo transfer. This procedure is done in a transfer room near the laboratory and is scheduled five days after your retrieval.

Sedation is very seldom required as it is a simple pelvic speculum exam that allows for the embryo to be placed past the cervix and into the uterus with a transfer catheter. This is performed under ultrasound guidance.

Women rest for five minutes following this procedure and then are requested to have light activity at home the rest of the day.

Following the embryo transfer, you will continue to take hormonal medications until you have a pregnancy test. This pregnancy test may be scheduled at a UI Health Care location or your local lab.

Number of embryos to transfer

The appropriate number of embryos to transfer will be discussed during your consultation visit and depends on several factors. Especially in younger women, there are several advantages to transferring a single embryo and this is a practice that we emphasize in our program. Transferring more than one embryo can increase your chance of multiple gestation including twins. Multiple gestations are a high-risk pregnancy and are at a higher risk of delivering prematurely.

We feel strongly that a singleton delivery is the optimal outcome and we hope to help you build your family one healthy baby at a time. In order to accomplish this goal, our program has set forth the following embryo culture and transfer strategy:

Upper limits for number of embryos transferred at UI Health Care

Fresh Transfer
Age of Woman Day 5
37 and less 1 or 2
38 2
39 and above 2
Frozen Transfer
Age of Woman Day 5
37 and less 1 or 2
38 2
39 and above 2
Last reviewed: 
February 2018

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