Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer completes the IVF process

For couples or individuals having trouble getting pregnant, assisted reproductive technology offers an increased chance at welcoming a child into the world. At ArkLaTex Fertility, David T. Vandermolen MD, MS, and our team offer state-of-the-art infertility treatment, including IVF, to help our patients achieve their goals of parenthood. Embryo transfer is the last step in the IVF process.

The basics of embryo development

After our Northern Louisiana fertility clinic doctor completes the egg retrieval, the egg and sperm are typically combined in a petri dish so that fertilization can occur. Generally, fertilization occurs within 18 to 20 hours of the mixing. Our skilled embryologists will monitor the culture to watch for cell division and embryo development.

In some cases, our embryologists will inject a single sperm directly into each egg to assist with fertilization. This procedure, known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, may be performed when certain infertility factors are present, such as a very low sperm count.

Should you explore preimplantation genetic testing (PGT)?

When you decide to pursue IVF, you and your partner may want to discuss whether or not to utilize PGT, or preimplantation genetic testing. If PGT is involved, the embryologist will remove a small sample of six to eight cells from each embryo that has developed in the laboratory, so that the genetic makeup can be properly assessed.

With PGT, we can analyze the embryo quality and ensure that Dr. Vandermolen will transfer the best-quality embryo during embryo transfer. Several types of PGT are available, so Dr. Vandermolen will explain your options so that you can make an informed decision about whether PGT is right for you.

Fresh vs. frozen embryo transfer

Another consideration we will need to make with IVF is selecting fresh or frozen embryo transfer (FET). Fresh transfers need to occur with three to five days of egg retrieval, whereas you can schedule an FET at a later time, allowing your body time to recover from the egg retrieval and prepare to receive the embryo. If you choose PGT, your embryos will be cryopreserved and stored until your test results are returned, so you will have an FET. Dr. Vandermolen can answer questions and recommend the best approach for you.

A review of the transfer procedure

A fresh transfer occurs between days two to six after the egg retrieval, and an FET will be perfectly timed when your uterine lining and hormone levels are ideal to receive an embryo. You will return to our Northern Louisiana fertility clinic for the procedure.

While we don’t administer full anesthesia, a mild sedative may be ordered to facilitate relaxation. Dr. Vandermolen will use ultrasound to guide a catheter into place and position a predetermined number of embryos in the uterus. Most patients will remain in recovery for a short amount of time and are then discharged to rest at home. Typically, you can resume normal activities the next day.

When you choose our Northern Louisiana fertility clinic, you are in the hands of a competent, dedicated medical team. We are here to help your dreams of a baby become a beautiful reality. Contact our office for more information about embryo transfer or the IVF process.