Embryo Transfer

What is embryo transfer?

Embryo transfers are usually a quick and smooth process – taking on average about one hour from when you enter the clinic until you leave. Mid-morning onwards seems to be when most embryo transfers are performed – but it is worth checking with the actual clinic in case you are taking time off work.

You can expect to be in the transfer room for about ten minutes; the procedure will usually be performed without sedation – which means you won’t need to fast unlike with egg collections. Have a light meal beforehand and bring your partner or a companion if you would like to.

You should have a full bladder at the time of the procedure. Ultrasound scans provide better imaging if the bladder is full and, also important, the location of the bladder can be strategically used. Once full, the bladder lowers the position of the womb that then aligns with the cervix, improving the accessibility of the transfer catheter into the uterine cavity. It’s best to start drinking water one hour before the procedure - this is only a guideline as you should monitor your own water intake in order to avoid an uncomfortable bladder during the procedure.

We recommend you arrive at the clinic ten to fifteen minutes before the treatment to allow time to chat with the embryology team. You will be given an update on the number of embryos that are suitable and how many should be transferred. Put time aside for important decisions - you really want to avoid rushed conversations with the embryologist that could have massive implications. Plan a meeting in advance so you have time to think everything through.

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