What to Expect After the Embryo Transfer
It’s finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for: embryo transfer day. This is the day your IVF cycle has been leading up to. After weeks of medications, monitoring, and the egg retrieval, your embryo(s) are now ready to get transferred it into your womb. The actual transfer only takes about 15 minutes. However, you need to wait at least two weeks to take your first pregnancy test. These two weeks can seem like the longest two weeks of your life. Post embryo transfer you can relax, knowing that you’ve done everything possible to become pregnant. RSMC – San Diego, one of the best fertility clinic in CA, brings the step by step information about Egg Transfer procedure from the top medical experts.
Embryo Transfer Day
Embryo transfer day is 3 to 6 days after the egg retrieval. This is because the retrieved eggs need to undergo fertilization, and then be cultured for a few days to ensure transferring only viable embryos. The day after the eggs retrieval, you start taking progesterone. It makes your uterus receptive to implantation of the embryo(s).
After the transfer is complete, you will need to stay in a reclining position for about an hour. This gives the embryos every opportunity to attach themselves to your uterine wall. Some doctors recommend that women take it easy for the whole day of the embryo transfer IVF. From a medical standpoint, this may not be completely necessary. It does, however, give women who have been nervous about the procedure some time to relax and regroup.
Frozen Embryo Transfer
If you are doing a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), then the transfer will occur at least a month after the egg retrieval.
- For about two weeks before the FET, Lupron is used for pituitary suppression. This makes sure that there isn’t spontaneous ovulation.
- After the two weeks of Lupron, you start taking estrogen to build up your uterine lining. During a series of appointments, experts will use transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the uterine lining. Lupron doses will stay low during this period.
- When the uterine lining is ready, the Lupron is discontinued, and you will start progesterone intake. This will prepare the uterus, so the embryo can implant.
- The FET usually occurs five days after starting progesterone. At this time the uterus is as hospitable as possible for the embryo.
Embryo Transfer Procedure
The embryo transfer procedure is the same for fresh cycles and frozen cycles. It’s basically the intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure, but here embryo transfer takes place into the uterus instead of sperm. An embryo transfer is an in-office procedure. It employs no anesthesia as there is minimal discomfort.
During the embryo transfer procedure, the embryo(s) to be transferred are loaded into a catheter that passes through the vagina and cervix, into the uterus. Specialists use ultrasound to guide the catheter to the ideal placement location, 1–2 cm from the uterine fundus.
The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. After that you will need to rest for 30 to 60 minutes before going home. Most women rest for the remainder of the same day.
After the Transfer
You start taking progesterone before the embryo transfer because it helps the uterine lining mature. Thus, it becomes ready for an embryo implantation. However, you will continue with progesterone supplementation after the embryo transfer as well. It will go on until your pregnancy is confirm and your body is producing enough progesterone naturally.
Some symptoms after embryo transfer are similar to your menstrual cycle:
- Slight bloating
- Mood swings
- Sore breasts
- Light spotting
Since these symptoms can apply to early pregnancy, or the start of a period, they can be very frustrating. Most pregnancy tests aren’t accurate until about two weeks after the transfer. This is due to the large amount of the HCG hormone in your body from the trigger shot before the egg retrieval.
So, you just have to wait out the two longest weeks of your life. There are some things you should be doing during this time to take care of yourself:
- Eat and take care of yourself like you’re pregnant. Take vitamins, eat a healthy diet, and no drinking or smoking.
- No vigorous exercise. This might cause uterine contractions.
- During this extremely emotional time, between the hormones and the dream of a family of your own, ensure you have emotional support.
The Big Day Is Finally Here
After what may seem like an eternity (two weeks after the transfer), you finally go to the fertility clinic for a blood test to determine if you’re pregnant with the embryo transfer. If you are, then congratulations. You’re on your way to parenthood! Experts at RSMC – San Diego suggest that for the first eight to ten weeks of the pregnancy, it is best to stay under the care of the fertility clinic team so they can monitor the pregnancy with blood tests and ultrasounds. During this time, you will also continue the progesterone supplement to help keep the uterine lining healthy and prevent miscarriage. After the fertility team is happy with the way the pregnancy is progressing, you transfer to your regular OB/GYN for the remainder of the pregnancy. Congratulations, your dream of a biological child is almost here.
RSMC – San Diego & Irvine is one of the best fertility clinics of California. You can visit our website to find useful information about Embryo Transfer, Egg Donation or Surrogacy. You can also give us a call 858-436—7186 to schedule a free consultation.