Preparing for the Embryo Transfer
Once you have been informed of your total embryo number, preparation for your embryo transfer cycle begins. This will be organised by one of the Egg Donation Coordinators. A 1-2 month treatment schedule is set up and a prescription for specific uterine preparation medications is arranged.
We want to ensure that the embryos are placed in the womb at the optimal time for implantation. This is usually achieved by firstly starting on the contraceptive pill for a short period. A nasal spray is then introduced to make the ovaries temporarily inactive. This is known as down regulation. Some women requiring donor eggs do not menstruate and therefore may not require down regulation. Once down regulation has been achieved, hormone tablets are taken daily to prepare the lining of the womb to receive the embryos.
Ultrasound scans are carried out following commencement of the hormone tablets so that the lining of the uterus can be assessed in advance of the embryo transfer. If the uterine lining is satisfactory, an additional hormone – Progesterone – is taken as advised. This ensures that the lining is in the best possible condition for implantation of the embryos.
The Embryos are thawed on the morning of embryo transfer in preparation for transfer into the uterus. They are replaced through the neck of the womb using a small plastic tube. This is usually a painless procedure rather like having a cervical smear test and it takes approximately 10 minutes to perform.
After the Embryo Transfer
Following embryo transfer, the hormone tablets and progesterone medication are continued daily as indicated in your treatment schedule. These hormones reflect the changes that normally occur in a woman’s body at this time. While the hormone supplements are being taken, a period will not usually occur. However, this does not necessarily mean pregnancy has begun.
12 days after the embryo transfer, you will be advised regarding pregnancy testing to establish if you are pregnant.
N.B. Your first embryo transfer is included in the all-inclusive package price. Subsequent transfers will be charged as frozen embryo transfer cycles.