Wondering what an embryo looks like before transfer? These are photos of embryos before transfer and which have all resulted in a pregnancy. You will see that they vary quite dramatically in appearance as they are representative of the various developmental stages.
Frozen embryo transfer
If you are having your frozen embryos transferred the procedure will be the same as for the fresh embryo transfer explained below. The difference being, that as you would not have had an IVF treatment cycle, we need to ensure the embryos are transferred when the uterus is ready – this is critical.
If you have a natural regular cycle the frozen embryos can be transferred at the appropriate time in your cycle. If you do not have a natural regular cycle then we artificially control your cycle using hormones to ensure that we are able to transfer the embryos at the correct time.
What happens during my embryo transfer?
Your embryo transfer is a quick and pain-free procedure which takes 5-10 minutes. Partners are welcome to attend.
The embryo(s) are loaded into a special transfer catheter in a tiny droplet of fluid and are then placed in the uterus by one of our Fertility Nurse Specialists. Once transferred, embryo(s) will settle into a niche in the lining where they can continue to grow.
When will my embryos be transferred?
The exact day of embryo transfer will depend on the number and quality of embryos available for selection (dictated by embryo development). Embryo transfer can take place from 1 to 5 days after egg collection.
How many embryos are transferred?
Patients usually have one or two embryos transferred in a single cycle. Three embryos may be transferred in patients over 40 years of age in exceptional circumstances.
The number of embryos we recommend for transfer will depend on both your embryo quality and your medical history, and is decided in partnership with you. Where the chances of conception are high the team may recommend that a single embryo is transferred – this will virtually eliminate the risk of a twin pregnancy without substantially decreasing the chances of becoming pregnant. For those patients who have had a single embryo transferred the current ongoing pregnancy rate is 42%.
The recommendation for single embryo transfer should be viewed as a positive step as it means we consider the chances of success are high. Opting for a single embryo will not result in the other embryos being ‘wasted’ – they will simply be stored for later use if good quality.
If I choose to have a single embryo transferred, can the other embryos be frozen?
Embryos can be stored for future use if they are considered to be good quality. If a single embryo is being recommended for transfer, the overall quality of the cohort of embryos is generally good.
See section on Embryo Freezing for further details.
Wondering what an embryo looks like before transfer? These are photos of embryos that we have transferred which have all resulted in a pregnancy. . You will see that they vary quite dramatically in appearance are from various developmental stages.