Perhaps the most simple, straightforward aspect of IVF is the embryo transfer (ET), a procedure by which the embryo is placed into the uterus. No anesthesia is necessary, and the procedure is not painful.
During ET, a speculum is placed in the vagina and the cervix is cleansed with sterile solution. A special thin Teflon (Wallace) catheter has been designed for this procedure. The embryos are loaded into the catheter tip, which is then threaded through the cervix near the top of the uterus where the embryo(s) are released. The catheter is held in place for ten seconds and slowly removed.
Often, an abdominal ultrasound is used to guide the catheter. Dr. Barmat has developed the "Barmat ultraview catheter." This enables better visualization of the ET catheter tip to ensure optimal placement of the embryos to achieve the highest success rates.
The patient will be asked to remain in the same position while the catheter is examined under the microscope to be sure that the embryo(s) do not remain inside the catheter. If this is the case, the process will be repeated. After rechecking the catheter, the speculum is removed, and the patient is instructed to lie flat for approximately ten minutes.
She will then be discharged from the Toll Center and asked to remain in bed as much as possible for the next 24 hours with minimal activity for the following 48 hours. While treatments may vary, progesterone is usually given as a daily, intramuscular injection or a vaginal gel beginning the day after retrieval and continuing until the pregnancy test is either positive or negative. Occasionally, mild cramping, spotting and breast tenderness follow the embryo transfer. These symptoms do not necessarily indicate a problem.
Only embryos that divide (cleave) can be transferred into the patient’s uterus. If additional embryos are produced, they may be frozen and stored. The transfer of multiple embryos can result in the growth of more than one fetus, and twin pregnancies occur in approximately 35 percent of all IVF pregnancies. There have been reports of IVF pregnancies involving four, five and six fetuses, which we take all measures to avoid.
Harp Music Program
Abington Reproductive Medicine is one of the only IVF clinics in the country to provide live harp music during IVF transfers. Gloria Galante, CMP, an accomplished harpist, is on call to play at patient requests. Please contact her at her Website or call 215-342-9397 to schedule a time. Harp music is renowned for soothing the soul and creating a relaxing environment, which is ideal for an embryo transfer.