The embryo transfer process takes about 20 minutes in total elapsed time.
Much attention is paid to having the embryos in the best possible environment while they are growing in our Austin IVF laboratory. So, at the time of embryo transfer, a different type of media is used in order to increase the chance for a successful placement of the embryos within the uterine cavity. Uterine tissue fluids are viscous, much like serum. This increase in viscosity can have a negative effect on embryos which are in growth medium. The difference in viscosity can cause the embryos to move rapidly away from the site of placement. This rapid movement could cause the embryos to follow the catheter as it is removed from the uterus after transfer. In order to prevent this from happening, the embryos are placed in a medium with a much higher protein content (more like the uterine tissue fluid) immediately before transfer. They are then picked up in the transfer catheter within this high protein transfer medium and given to the physician for placement into the uterus. This medium allows the transferred embryos to settle more quickly away from the catheter tip and onto the uterine lining.
Before the embryos are brought to the physician for transfer, the mucous from the cervix is removed by the physician in order to prevent it from blocking the opening to the catheter. This greatly increases the chances for a successful delivery of the embryos to the uterine cavity.
The embryo transfer catheter is another very important element in the process of producing a viable pregnancy from the IVF process. The catheter used is a two part instrument which allows the physician to first establish the correct direction and position where the embryos should be placed with an external sleeve. The internal, soft catheter holds the embryos that have been loaded by the embryologist and carried to the physician for transfer. This internal catheter is placed into the sleeve and directed into place either by ultrasound monitoring or by the previously measured directions as to the length and shape of the uterine cavity.
All of the elements discussed here are very important to a successful outcome for the patient and each of them has been considered after much research. Our experienced Austin IVF embryologist staff has brought together successful approaches to IVF from a number of the best programs in the world. We believe that this culture system gives the patient the best possible opportunity to realize their goal of delivering a healthy baby.