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Embryo transfer is not the same as embryo implantation

Posted Oct 20 2013 10:31pm


Most patients do not have a clear picture of IVF treatment. As a result, they are often confused and don’t understand medical terms accurately . Many IVF patients don’t know the basic difference between implantation and embryo transfer and this ignorance can prove to be harmful to them.  

What is the difference?
Embryo transfer is different from embryo implantation . Embryo transfer is a simple procedure where we take your embryos and put them into your uterus. For doing this, we use a plastic tube which is known as an ‘Embryo transfer catheter’. In contrast to embryo transfer, the implantation of the embryo into the endometrium is an intricate biological process that takes place inside your uterus. This occurs a few days after the transfer and we cannot control the process.
How are they connected?
When your embryos are transferred on Day 3, they are about 8-cells. The cells keep dividing further in utero until the embryos form blastocysts . Once this happens, the blastocyst hatches from the zona, and the embryo implants into the wall of the uterus. This happens on Day 6 or Day 7.
Unlike embryo transfer, implantation is a natural biological process and we don’t have any control over it. There are three phases in embryo implantation namely, Apposition, Adhesion and Invasion. Though we assist the preparation of your uterine lining for the implantation of embryos, we cannot guarantee whether the outcome will be a success or failure once we have transferred your embryos into your uterus. In a good clinic, the implantation rate is about 30% - which means only about 3 of 10 embryos will become a baby. We still cannot predict which embryos will implant which is why we still cannot foretell which cycle will be successful.
The IVF doctor is like a gardener . A good gardener will select the best seed; prepare the soil; dig carefully; and water it well after planting the seed . However, no matter how careful he is, he cannot control which seed will germinate and which will not.
Not sure why your IVF embryos are not implanting ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !




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