Elias Gatos, M.D.
Surgeon Gynecologist – Obstetrician
Scientific Director emBIO Assisted Reproduction Unit

Embryo transfer

What it is
Embryo transfer is the process during which in vitro fertilised embryos are transferred to be implanted in the endometrial cavity, which is the final IVF stage.

The procedure at a glance
Embryo transfer is typically painless and does not require anaesthesia, whereas it lasts 10-20 minutes. Embryos are placed in the uterus guided by sonogram with extremely mild and atraumatic movements.
Embryo transfer is performed using a thin, plastic, flexible tube, 2-6 days after egg collection i.e. from the stage of 4 cells to the blastocyst stage..

Embryologists select the best embryos based on specific morphological criteria such as the shape, number, form, clarity, and size of cells (blastomeres). Moreover, in embryo transfer the couple will decide how many embryos will be implanted depending on their quality, the wife’s age (the legislation requires this number not to exceed 3 for women aged below 40 and 4 for women aged over 40) and the couple’s history.

After the embryo transfer, the patient should remain relaxed and in bed for half an hour to avoid possible uterine contraction. But even after she returns home, the patient is advised to remain relaxed for a few days, not to lift weight, not to go out for shopping, to avoid long standing hours and heavy housework and, in general, limit her tasks. Excess and psychological tension should be avoided. Sexual intercourse should also be avoided.

After a 13-day period, a visit to the unit is scheduled to perform a pregnancy test & blood collection to determine β-chorionic gonadotropin levels.


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