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Embryo Transfer

The embryo transfer procedure is very simple but very critical.

The doctor and the scientist might have already discussed with you the fertilization rate and the number of embryos to be transferred. The number may vary between one to three depending on circumstances of each couple. A speculum is introduced into the vagina and the cervix is cleaned with a special culture media. The embryos are loaded into a very thin soft catheter, which is gently passed into the uterine cavity and the embryos are carefully injected into the cavity of the uterus. You have to rest for about fifteen minutes and then go home. It is advisable to stay at home and rest for the next three days. We advice you should avoid house work and shopping. You can walk around the house. This will give better chance for the embryos to implant and achieve a pregnancy. Complete bed rest is not advised.

The doctor will give you a new schedule for hormone support after the egg collection. These may be vaginal suppositories, or daily injections or tablets. Blood test may be advised to check the level of progesterone hormone. Twelve days after the embryo transfer (fourteen days after the egg collection) a blood test for human chorionic gonadotrophin( ßhCG) will determine whether the treatment has been successful. This is a pregnancy specific hormone. The doctor will discuss the results with you.

If a pregnancy is diagnosed as indicated by the "day 14" blood test, please do not stop the hormone support unless advised by the doctor. If the level of hCG is low then repeat blood tests may be required two days later. It is possible that the pregnancy is inside the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy) and not inside the uterus. This requires careful evaluation and treatment. The doctor will discuss this with you. The first scan to confirm the pregnancy by visualizing the gestation sac within the uterine cavity, foetal echo and heart beat is done on "day 35". The doctor will also advice you how and when to stop the hormone support.

You need very careful monitoring of the pregnancy after this by your own OB GYN as nearly 30% of the pregnancies are lost if there is not proper supervision. Normally there are no side effects from the hormone support, as all the hormone preparations that are used in your treatment are natural hormones. However if you have any problems in using the hormones prescribed or you have concerns using the hormones please consult the doctor in the centre. Do not stop the hormones under any circumstances. You should take sensible well balanced diet, good amount of fluids (water) and rest at home. Rest does not mean you should stay in bed but adequately move around the house.

You should remember that a spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy or a multiple pregnancy could occur after IVF treatment just as they can after natural conception, though the rate is slightly higher.