Day 3 Embryo Transfer

Definition - What does Day 3 Embryo Transfer mean?

An embryo transfer is the procedure of transferring embryos back in to the endometrial cavity (uterus) of a patient during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. For a 3-day embryo transfer, the embryo is transferred back into the uterus on the third day after an egg retrieval, when the developing embryo is in the cleavage stage (before the blastocyst stage).

FertilitySmarts explains Day 3 Embryo Transfer

During the early days of IVF when it was impossible to keep embryos alive for very long outside of the human body, all embryo transfers took place immediately after fertilization. The procedure was typically performed on the second or third day after egg retrieval.

As scientific advancements continued to be made, embryos were developing well over three days after egg retrieval. Now, many IVF procedures are done upon the 5th day after egg retrieval, when embryos have reached the blastocyst stage.

Today, 3-day embryo transfers are still performed, but these have less likelihood of implantation than those in the blastocyst stage.

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