What to Expect at the Embryo Transfer

What to Expect at the Embryo Transfer

Couples who will be coming to Austin Fertility Surgical Center for an embryo transfer are asked to arrive one hour before their procedure.  When the couple arrives, they are registered by the Pre-Op nurse and assigned to a room.  The embryo transfer requires that the couple sign consent forms for the procedure, but there is less paper work than at the time of the egg retrieval.  The forms will be discussed and signed before any Valium is administered.

Valium will be administered in order to relax the smooth muscle of the uterus.  This will help to lessen or prevent cramping of the uterus during and after the embryo transfer.  A secondary effect to some patients is the overall feeling of relaxation.   If this effect is not achieved, it does not mean that the Valium is not working on the uterine muscle.

If the physician is intending to transfer the embryos with the help of a sonogram, the patient must have a full bladder.  The pre-Op nurse will be aware of this and direct the patient in the intake of fluids before the transfer.

An embryologist from our Austin IVF laboratory may come by the room and talk to the couple about their embryos before the physician arrives.  This visit may also occur after the transfer has been completed and the couple is back in their room.

Usually, the couple has discussed the number of embryos that they would like to transfer with their physician prior to the time of transfer. If they have not, they must decide, with the physician’s guidance, before they are taken to the procedure room.  Earlier in the day, the embryologists examine the embryos for growth rate and visual quality.  This report is sent to the physician for evaluation.  Based on the patient’s age, previous attempts, medical history, state of mind and embryo quality, the physician recommends the appropriate number of embryos for transfer.  The patients and their physician discuss this number, and our Austin IVF lab embryologists are informed as to how many embryos to prepare for transfer.

The partner of the intended mother, or one other designated person, may be in the procedure room during the embryo transfer.  Because of the activity occurring in the room at the time of transfer by physician, nurses and embryologists, the number of visitors who can attend the embryo transfer is limited to one.  Also, for the sake of keeping the atmosphere in the room as calming for the patient as possible, it is best to keep the number of people in the transfer room to a minimum.

After the transfer, the patient will be transferred back to her room where she will stay for approximately 25 minutes.