Embryo transfer

Embryo transfer is the process by which your developing embryo/s are transferred into the uterus. This occurs 2-5 days after egg collection and will be determined by the number, development and quality of your growing embryos. The embryologist will guide when you need to attend the clinic for embryo transfer.

The procedure itself is usually simple and straightforward without the need for anaesthetic, very similar to a female cervical smear test. During the procedure, we insert a soft catheter into your vagina, passing through the cervix into the uterus. Once the catheter is in place, we expel the embryo/s into the uterus.

Prior to the embryo transfer taking place you will have the opportunity to speak both with the clinician and an embryologist, who will discuss your embryo development and the number of embryos for replacement and subsequent culture/freezing. The decision regarding the number of embryos able to be replaced is governed by our regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), with a maximum of two embryos permitted for female patients under 40 years of age, and a maximum of three for those over forty. Patients undergoing a cycle of egg donation are permitted to have a maximum of two embryos replaced irrespective of their age. For those patients at the highest risk of a multiple pregnancy the recommendation is to have a single embryo transfer (SET) if their embryos reach the blastocyst stage. For this select group, the replacement of one blastocyst will not have any significant impact on the excellent chance of success, but will instead safeguard both mother and baby from the risks of multiple pregnancy, and optimise the chances of you delivering a healthy baby. Remember though, having been fully informed, the ultimate decision on the number of embryos to be replaced rests with you the patient.

At the time of embryo transfer you will have the opportunity to observe your embryo/s on the theatre monitor and watch the embryos be loaded into the catheter used to transfer them. We are also able to take photographs which you are able to take home should you wish. The embryologist will give you an information sheet summarizing your treatment and detailing when your pregnancy test is due. You can also refer to your laboratory guide for advice information during this time as you lead up to your pregnancy test.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of fertility treatment with us, please call us on 01992 78 50 60 or email us on enquiries@hertsandessexfertility.com