Causes & Treatment

What happens during ET, unveiling success rates & dispelling myths

Emma Harpham  |   7 Jul 2023


Demystifying embryo transfer – the spotlight guide

Embryo transfer stands as a critical juncture in the journey of assisted reproduction and plays an important role in the success of fertility treatments – and if you’re on an IVF journey, you’ll be no stranger to this fact.

What is embryo grading? What’s a hatching blastocyst? Will I end up having twins? There are so many common questions around the embryo transfer process, and we’re shedding light on what to know, whilst untangling the relationship between these transfer procedures and their associated success rates.

Watch as Danielle Breen, Laboratory Manager at TFP Thames Valley Fertility answers your top embryo transfer questions, lifting the lid on embryo grading and giving us the 101 on success rates and more.

Does embryo grading matter?

Embryo grading can help the embryologist between selection for us trying to pick the best embryo to give you the best chances but sometimes it’s only skin deep.

Are pregnancy rates higher if the blastocyst is hatching just before transfer?

Every embryo has to be able to hatch to be able to implant. Sometimes we see it doing that in the lab before transfer, but if we don’t it doesn’t mean it won’t get there after transfer. Ultimately what we’re looking for is to see how advanced the blastocyst is and if it’s starting to thin it’s shell great and if it’s already hatched even better.

When does implantation happen?

Implantation doesn’t happen straight after transfer. We expect there to be probably at least a twenty-four to forty-eight hour window before we would have expected the embryo to start looking for that little spot to dig in. It can vary from individual to individual but that’s why we do them on day five to give it the best time.

What are the chances of twins for a single blastocyst splitting?

When people associate having twins with IVF, that’s normally because someone’s had more than one embryo transferred. However, a single embryo can still split by itself leading to identical twins but the chances of that happening are generally less than 2%.

How do grades of Day 6 / 7 compare to Day 5?

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if an embryo is graded on day five, day six or day seven because what we’re looking for at the blastocyst stage will be the same across all three days.

By dispelling prevalent misconceptions and providing a clear perspective, getting a better understanding of the embryo transfer process and how things should work will empower you to advocate for yourself when it comes asking questions to your clinic.

Looking to learn more? Connect with TFP Fertility UK today and get to know the options available to you. With second-to-none expertise across every one of their UK-based clinic network, you’re in the safest hands with this fantastic team.

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