This medical guide has been created to provide in-depth information regarding IVF treatment and embryo transfer process, to allow infertile couples to achieve pregnancy.

IVF Process

In Vitro Fertilization is a type of assisted reproductive technology in which the egg and sperm are retrieved and introduced manually outside the body in a laboratory. Once fertilized the embryo is transferred into the uterus using a catheter tube, which matures and turns into a fetus within a duration of a few weeks.

Steps involved in an IVF procedure: 

Before going forward with the procedure, the female patient might be given some fertility medications for stimulating their egg production. Multiple eggs need to be developed as some of them might be damaged.

Stage 1: Extraction of the egg and sperm

IVF requires manual extraction of the sperm and egg from the male and female body. Male can extract the sperm by simply masturbating their semen into a tube. Female have to go under an ultrasound-guided procedure, for the retrieval of their matured eggs. A needle is placed in the follicles for aspirating the fluids, and the egg is detached from the follicle wall which is sucked from the ovary. 

Stage 2: Fertilization in the tube

Now, the egg and the sperm are introduced into the laboratory tube, which is monitored until they are fertilized. 

Stage 3: Embryo Transfer

Once fertilized, the embryo is transferred back inside the uterus using the catheter. It usually takes two to three weeks, before the patient starts showing any sign of pregnancy.

Read: IVF Process Step by Step

IVF treatment is used for treating infertility in the following cases:

•    Damaged or blocked fallopian Tubes

•    Patients with genetic disorders

•    Factors leading to male infertility (Reduced Sperm motility or decreased sperm count)

•    Women whose fallopian tubes have been removed

•    Women with premature ovarian failure, ovulation disorders, or uterine fibroids

•    Unexplained Fertility

Embryo Transfer Process

The embryo transfer is a simple non-surgical process. Unlike egg retrieval, embryo transfer doesn’t require any sedation, and the patient can be discharged from the hospital within 2 to 5 hours after the embryo transfer.

Both frozen or fresh embryos can be used in this assisted reproduction procedure.

The transfer is conducted using image guidance from an ultrasound. The doctor uses a thin catheter for moving the embryos into the uterus through the vagina. Once the transfer is complete, the patient is laid straight in the recovery room for 30 to 60 minutes. 

Embryo transfer procedure doesn’t have any significant risk factors or side-effects. But there a few things that can be experienced by the patients:

•    Mild Cramping

•    Mild Bloating

•    Constipation

•    Breast tenderness

•    Passing fluids (small amount of blood) after the procedure

•    Abdominal Pain

•    Mood Swings

•    Headaches

•    Sudden Weight Gain

•    Faintness

Success Rate of IVF Treatment

The success rate of an IVF treatment can vary depending on multiple factors which might include family history, reproductive history, lifestyle factors, maternal age, and the initial reason that has caused infertility.

IVF Treatment for Patients whose partners are sterile or don’t have healthy eggs

Patient’s with unhealthy eggs or sperm can use a donor’s sperm, eggs or embryos to achieve a pregnancy. However, make sure to get acquainted with the donor issues, and gain all legal information regarding gamete donation, to understand the donor’s constitutional rights.

IVF Embryo Transfer Implantation Symptoms

These are following signs that can help you determine if the embryo implantation has been successful:

Spotting – Patient will experience light spotting or bleeding after an IVF embryo transfer, which can be read as the initial sign of pregnancy. The dark brown spotting reflects that the embryo has successfully implanted in the uterus. However in case, the patient experiences heavy bleeding on their scheduled period date, then the process has failed.

Cramping – Experiencing cramping after an IVF is a sign of pregnancy. Many women describe this implantation cramping to be similar to the period cramping. It can continue for two or three days.

Breast Tenderness – If the IVF implantation has been accepted by the uterus, the patient’s breast might become tender two or more weeks after the procedure.

Basal Body Temperature -  The patient’s body temperature will rise, as they will begin to ovulate, sustaining it until they start their period. If the basal body temperature is elevated for two or more weeks, it can mean that the patient is pregnant.

Cost of IVF in India

International patients will be able to travel and cover the cost of their IVF treatment in India at $3,500. Indian hospitals offer a wide range of affordable treatments for almost every disease in the books.

FAQs

How much time is required for transferring an embryo?

After the stimulation of the ovary and embryo development in the glass tube, the embryo is transferred into the uterus. Embryo transfer is done simply by placing the fetus inside the patient’s uterus, using a thin tube that only takes five minutes.

Do frozen and fresh embryos have the same success rate?

Yes, studied have suggested that frozen embryos and fresh embryos deliver the similar success rates.

When should a patient test after an IVF transfer?

9-11 days after the transfer, a blood test is conducted for finding out if the patient is pregnant or not. If the embryo has successfully implanted in the patient’s, the HCG hormone will detect the pregnancy from the blood. Doctors don’t recommend patient to check their pregnancy via urine test after an IVF.

Are there any signs of successful implantation?

Common signs experienced after implantation bleeding include:

Mild cramping

Mood swings

Headaches

Nausea

Breast tenderness

Lower backaches

How much time is required to thaw frozen embryo?

The embryo is stored or frozen in liquid nitrogen into a special machinery. Freezing an embryo can take several hours, but thawing it hardly takes 30 to 45 minutes. Some frozen embryos have been successfully thawed after being cryopreservation for almost 13 years.

Is Embryo Transfer Process painful?

Embryo transfer is a non-surgical process, in which the doctor places the embryo inside the patient’s uterus using a catheter that is inserted through the opening in the female vagina without any surgical procedure

What is the cost of freezing an embryo?

The cost of Cryopreservation of an embryo ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 including, the thawing, fertilizing, and embryo transfer in most parts of the world including India.

Are there any factors that might affect the success rate of the implantation?

The success rate of the implantation entirely relies on two factors:

•    The quality of the egg

•    Uterus receptiveness, which means that whether the uterus will accept the placement of the embryo or not. 

Explore Medmonks.com to learn more about different infertility treatments and Embryo Transfer procedure.

References

https://www.modernmom.com/2d3f6f3a-051f-11e2-9d62-404062497d7e.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/in-vitro-fertilization/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_transfer