An embryo transfer is the last part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.
During IVF, fertility medications are used to stimulate the ovaries into releasing healthy eggs.
These eggs are then removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized in a lab. Once the fertilized eggs have multiplied, the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus.
For a pregnancy to begin, the embryo must then attach itself to the wall of her womb or uterus.
When embryo transfer is needed
IVF and embryo transfer is needed in cases where natural fertilization is not an option or has difficulty occurring. There are many reasons for embryo transfer, including:
- Ovulation disorders: If ovulation is infrequent, fewer eggs are available for successful fertilization.
- Damage to Fallopian tubes: The Fallopian tubes are the passageway through which the embryos travel to reach the uterus. If the tubes become damaged or scarred, it is difficult for fertilized eggs to safely reach the womb.
- Endometriosis: When tissue from the uterus implants and grows outside of the uterus. This can affect how the female reproductive system works.
- Premature ovarian failure: If the ovaries fail, they do not produce normal amounts of estrogenor release eggs regularly.
- Uterine fibroids: Fibroids are small, benign tumors on the walls of the uterus. They can interfere with an egg’s ability to plant itself in the uterus, preventing pregnancy.
- Genetic disorders: Some genetic disorders are known to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
- Impaired sperm production: In men, low sperm production, poor movement of the sperm, damage to the testes, or semen abnormalities are all reasons natural fertilization may fail.