Embryo transfer: What is it? Why It Is Used?

embryo transfer
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What is Embryo transfer?

IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a technique often used to help infertile couples have a child of their own.

While the actual process of fertilization takes place in carefully controlled conditions in a laboratory, the resulting embryos are checked for quality.

Only the healthy ones are then transferred back to the uterus so that pregnancy can progress normally.

The procedure of carefully retrieving the embryo and putting it within the uterus is commonly known as embryo transfer.

Pregnancy does not always occur naturally in spite of transferring the embryo inside the uterine cavity.

The embryo also needs to attach itself to the lining of the uterus so that the necessary hormones can be secreted to carry the process forward.

The Procedure

This process is an essential part of IVF and is conducted by highly skilled doctors and technicians.

The procedure begins with the fertility expert inserting speculum into the vagina for keeping its walls open.

The concerned doctor then uses the ultrasound technology and passes a catheter into the uterus by way of the cervix. The embryo is thereafter pushed into the womb.

The procedure is relatively painless with most patients not requiring anesthesia. However, a few patients are sensitive and request sedatives.

The bladder remains full for ultrasound examination and may cause slight discomfort. Fortunately, the time taken for transferring the embryo (s) is quite short.

The fertility expert examines the patient 15 days after the transfer in order to check the position of the embryo within the uterus.

The process is deemed to be successful when the embryo is found attached to the lining. A pregnancy test at this stage is sure to be positive.

The patient is not particularly inconvenienced after the transfer. However, she may feel some bloating, cramps and discharge from the vagina.

Embryo Transfer Types

The procedure for IVF is more or less the same across all medical facilities until fertilization occurs outside the body.

After that, the fertility doctor decides the course of action for facilitating pregnancy with the aid of embryo transfer.

Fresh Embryo Transfer– The doctor chooses the fresh and healthy embryos after fertilization of healthy eggs.

Only the ones in perfect condition without showing any indication of genetic problems are inserted into the womb.

Frozen Embryo Transfer– Sometimes there are multiple embryos resulting from fertilization of healthy eggs.

Doctors utilize the healthiest ones and freeze the rest to be thawed and used later than the need.

Couples who have to go for a second or third IVF cycle often opt to have the frozen embryo left behind from an earlier cycle used. This makes the process much shorter and relatively risk-free.

Blastocyst Transfer– Many fertility specialists choose to wait for 5 days after embryos are formed.

Repeated cell division transforms them into blastocysts that are complex structures containing two different kinds of cells.

Many fertility experts feel that transferring a blastocyst instead of an embryo increases the success rate of pregnancy. However, other medical professionals do not agree to this notion.

Assisted Hatching– The professional doctors may use this process and weaken the tough outer layer of the embryo in order to enhance the possibility of its attachment to the wall of the uterus.

It has been observed by the scientists that women receiving fresh embryos do not show much improvement but the ones who have frozen embryos transferred benefit by utilizing AH technique.

Reasons to Use Embryo Transfer

Couples usually opt for an IVF when they have trouble conceiving naturally despite years of trying.

Doctors facilitate the natural process by causing fertilization to take place out of the body.

The resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus culminating in pregnancy.

There are multiple reasons for transferring the embryo artificially into the womb. Some of the most common reasons to do it include the following:-

Ovulation Problems– Females who do not ovulate regularly or have few eggs developed during a cycle have to have the embryo transferred

Damaged Fallopian Tubes– Patients who have damaged and torn fallopian tubes will be unable to have the embryo travel into the womb naturally. External assistance is required therefore

Endometriosis– The patient has uterine tissues growing externally. This hampers the function of the reproductive system causing problems with fertilization and embryo implantation

Early Ovarian Failure– Ovaries that fail to function prematurely also fail to release healthy eggs naturally. The estrogen level is also low in such patients affecting normal fertilization

Fibroids– Development of benign or non-cancerous tumours inside the uterus can block the passage of the eggs and sperms separating them. This prevents conception

Genetic Disorder– Pregnancy can fail to take lace due to abnormal genes or chromosomes in one or both the partners

Poor Sperm Quality– the male partner can also be responsible for infertility especially when the count of sperms is low or the quality is poor. Impaired motility or movement of the sperm can also affect normal fertilization adversely.

Do not despair if you have been unable to conceive naturally. You are welcome to approach KIC, Bengaluru and discuss your problems with the specialist doctors here.

KIC enjoys a stellar reputation for successful IVF and embryo transfers. It has been hailed for achieving success with complex blastocyst transfers more than once.

Call now to book an appointment.

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