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Embryo Transfer

How our team prepares for embryo transfer

After our Virginia fertility center has retrieved your mature eggs and before embryo transfer, our team takes the eggs to our onsite laboratory for fertilization. Our technicians identify and isolate the eggs from their follicles and follicular fluid. They then expose them to either sperm from your partner or a donor. Our technicians may use intracytoplasmic sperm injection to assist with fertilization.

After fertilization, the resulting embryos begin to divide rapidly. By the time an embryo is three to five days old, it has grown into a blastocyst. A Blastocyst contains about 100 cells that will form the developing baby and its placenta. Our technicians can perform preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) or preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) at this stage in the process.

How embryo transfer works

As the embryos develop in the laboratory, you will self-administer medications to prepare your uterus for implantation. Our Virginia fertility center then follows specific steps for each embryo transfer. The entire process last about 15 minutes.

  • Before your transfer, our team places one embryo into a catheter.
  • Fady Sharara MD inserts a speculum into the vagina.
  • He uses ultrasound guidance to insert the catheter through the cervix and into the uterus.
  • Once in the uterus, Dr. Sharara releases the embryos at the desired implantation site.
  • After the transfer, you will rest for 15 minutes before you can go home.

We recommend that you rest for one day after the procedure. You should not engage in high-impact activities or lift more than 10 pounds during this time. You must continue to follow your medication calendar as directed after the embryo transfer.

If you develop a fever greater than 101°F, you should contact our office.

Experienced innovators in this procedure

Our Virginia fertility center primarily transfers one embryo at a time. Reducing the number of embryos that we transfer helps avoid the complications and risks associated with multiple births. You can freeze and store additional embryos for future IVF cycles.

For more information about embryo transfer and the IVF process, contact our office.

Learn More About Multiple Pregnancy and IVF

ASRM Patient Information Video