Embryo transfer is the last and decisive step of an In Vitro Fertilization. It is a crucial phase of treatment, which usually takes place on day 3 of embryonic development. If the embryo culture technique has been performed until the blastocyst stage, the transfer will take place on the fifth or sixth day.
Embryo transfer is a simple technique that involves the placement of embryos obtained in the laboratory, in the womb.
1. How many embryos are transferred?
The decision of the number of embryos to be transferred is always individualized for each patient, as it depends on many factors: age, previous pregnancies, previous failed treatments, cause of sterility, quantity and quality of embryos …
In this case, the current Spanish Legislation establishes that the maximum number of embryos that can be transferred is three.
In the Oyala Gynecology and Fertility Center we select the two best embryos as a general rule. Evaluating its development until the day of the transfer we can choose the best quality, according to the number of cells, size, division speed or percentage of cell fragmentation.
However, it may be the case that a single embryo is transferred, especially in cases of long culture, and a single blastocyst can be transferred. Or in exceptional cases, up to three embryos can be transferred.
2. What is the embryo transfer process?
The transfer process is very simple although, like follicular puncture, it is performed in the operating room to ensure strict sterility conditions. Prior to the transfer, an ultrasound is performed on the patient to assess the position of the uterus and the state of the endometrium. Next, the gynecologist places a vaginal speculum to visualize the cervix and perform a thorough cervical cleaning.
Once this process has been completed, the transfer proceeds. The embryos are placed with a specific catheter, made with a very flexible material, so as not to damage the walls of the uterine cavity. The patient does not need to be sedated, as it is not a painful process.
After embryo transfer, it is advisable to remain at rest for approximately half an hour. Then you can resume daily activity without problem, but always in moderation.
3. What is the destination of embryos not transferred?
Frequently, good quality embryos are generated in a cycle that have not been transferred. These embryos will be vitrified to be used in subsequent cryotransfer cycles (and thus not re-undergo ovarian stimulation and follicular puncture) in the case where the first cycle with fresh embryos had not been successful or in the event that the patient wants to reconsider if she has achieved pregnancy in the transfer of fresh embryos.
Of course, only those embryos that have reached optimum quality are vitrified. The embryos obtained of low quality are left in long culture in the laboratory and if one reaches the blastocyst structure on day 5 or 6, it could also be vitrified.
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