Embryo transfer

For women younger than 40 years old, the law allows to implant up to three embryos. For women over the age of 40, it may be possible to transfer up to four embryos. Embryo transfer is a painless procedure, similar to the Pap test and takes only a few minutes. After an embryo transfer, a woman rests for a while in the recovery room and she is advised to limit activities for the rest of the day.

Selection of a day for an embryo transfer

The choice of a day for an embryo transfer should be made after evaluating all the parameters including both, the clinical and the embryological parts.
Usually, embryos are transferred on the second or third day of pre-implantation development. The transfer at the blastocyst stage (ie, the fifth day of life) is usually selected:

  • When there are repeated failures embryo second or third day
  • When there are enough good quality embryos on the second and third days and it is difficult for tan embryologist to choose the best for embryo transfer
  • Used to avoid multiple pregnancies

The main advantage of a blastocyst stage embryo transfer is that it has higher success rates. Leaving embryos to grow in the laboratory, it is easier for an embryologists to select the best quality embryos that have advanced development, ie having reached the blastocyst stage and ready for the embryo transfer.
The main disadvantage is that about 50% of the embryos produced in the laboratory do not achieve the blastocyst stage.

So, when there is a small number of embryos, it is likely that no embryo transfer is going to take place, in case none of the embryos reach the blastocyst stage. Generally, there is an unanswered question that if embryos are transferred to a uterus faster is their natural environment (ie the second or third day of life) could become better?