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John Rinehart, MD, PhD, Reproductive Medicine Institute, Chicago
Fertility Specialist

Embryo Transfer?

What is an embryo transfer?

Each year, tens of thousands of embryo transfers are successfully done in the United States. The procedure is the final step in the in vitro fertilization process. It usually takes place in your luteal phase, when the lining of the uterus is most likely to support implantation.

During the procedure, a predetermined number of embryos are loaded into a catheter, threaded through the cervix and placed in the uterus. You can use either “fresh” (newly harvested) fertilized egg cells or “frozen” ones that have gone through embryo cryopreservation and then gently thawed just prior to the transfer. After your doctor performs an embryo transfer, you’ll usually rest in a recovery room for a couple of hours. In some cases you may be given medication to help assist with the implantation. The next step is to watch, wait and hopefully soon start to spread the good news that you’re expecting.

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