Embryo Transfer (ET)

Last Updated: May 29, 2019

Definition - What does Embryo Transfer (ET) mean?

An embryo transfer is the last step in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) process where one or more embryos that have been cultured in a laboratory are placed into a uterus to facilitate conception. The preferred time for transferring embryos is typically day two, three or five after the egg retrieval.

FertilitySmarts explains Embryo Transfer (ET)

After stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo culture, the most promising embryo(s) is transferred to a uterus one of the final steps in the IVF process.

The embryos are gently placed into a fine catheter that will pass through the vagina and cervix in its way to the uterus. Around two weeks later, a pregnancy blood test and potentially an ultrasound will be done, in order to check for implantation of the transferred embryo and confirmation if a pregnancy has or has not occurred.

There is no agreement among fertility specialists if resting or going about a regular routine would change the result of this procedure. Conception at this point depends mostly on successful implantation and the genetic quality of the embryo.

Progesterone is a supplemental medication that is often required after an embryo transfer. The main role of this hormone is to sustain a pregnancy and supplementation is often discontinued after a pregnancy is confirmed and is progressing normally.

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