Embryo Transfer (ET)
Definition - What does Embryo Transfer (ET) mean?
Embryo transfer refers to a procedure that follows in vitro fertilization (IVF) when the embryos collected and fertilized in the laboratory, are placed into the woman’s uterus to facilitate conception.
The number of embryos that are selected for the transfer is usually less than four, to avoid multiple pregnancies. The transfer of only one or two embryos reduces the probability of a successful pregnancy.
FertilitySmarts explains Embryo Transfer (ET)
The preferred time for transferring embryos is between day one and six after the removal of the egg, which is usually at day two to three after the eggs are fertilized in vitro.
The embryos are gently placed into a fine catheter that will pass through the vagina and cervix in its way to the uterus, the final destination for the fertilized eggs. Two weeks later, a pregnancy blood test and an ultrasound will be done, in order to check for viability and implantation of the transferred embryos.
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 a successful implantation and the genetic quality of the fertilized egg. Some assisted-fertilization protocols consider it a better option to let the embryos develop up to the blastocyst stage before performing the transfer.
The only supplemental medication that is required to take after the embryo transfer is progesterone. As the main role of this hormone is to sustain the pregnancy, the supplementation of progesterone is often discontinued after the pregnancy is confirmed and progresses normally.