Embryo transfer is usually a very simple procedure. For most people, however, having a fertilised egg placed in their womb is a very special moment in their fertility treatment. Pregnancy can begin.
Once the eggs are retrieved from the woman's ovary, they are fertilised immediately in the laboratory by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). They are then placed in an incubator and begin to divide. Here, the following happens:
Day 1: Pronucleus (PN) stage
Day 2: 2- to 4-cell stage
Day 3: 8-cell stage
Day 4: Morula stage
Day 5: Blastocyst stage
Most of the time, we prefer to transfer during the blastocyst stage on the fifth day.
By allowing the fertilised eggs to develop into blastocysts, we can better choose the embryo(s) that have the best chance of pregnancy. The chance of pregnancy depends on the age of the woman and the quality of the fertilised egg.
You can see our results, here.
Embryo transfer only takes a few minutes. It is a routine procedure that can be performed without anaesthesia. A soft plastic catheter is used for the transfer and is generally painless. At this stage, the fertilised egg is barely visible to the naked eye and is contained in a tiny drop of medium - and it is this tiny drop that is transferred into the uterus.
As soon as the fertilised egg is in the uterus, it can attach itself to the uterine lining and develop further. You can go home immediately after the procedure.
There are virtually no risks associated with embryo transfer.
There are no special precautions after an embryo transfer. Research has not shown that you have a greater chance of pregnancy if you are bedridden. The recommendation is that you move around as you normally would. A few studies recommend that you do not do any strenuous exercise around the time of your ovulation, but you can go for a walk or a slow run. It is also possible to have sex without reducing your chances of pregnancy. Of course, you should focus on a healthy lifestyle and avoid smoking, alcohol and intoxicants. The chance of pregnancy depends on the potential of the fertilised egg to attach to the mucous membrane and develop further. This is checked by a pregnancy test about 11-14 days after the embryo transfer.