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IVF FAQs - If my embryos do not implant , what happens to them ?

Posted Mar 27 2013 11:37am
The embryo(s) which are transferred to your uterus are just microscopic ball of cells. You cannot see your embryo with your naked eye; you need a microscope , which would enlarge it several hundred times , before you can view it.  When your embryos fail to implant and give rise to a pregnancy, they die and disintegrate. Cells die in the human body all the time, and these dead cells are removed by your body’s scavenging machinery. When you get periods after a failed cycle, only the endometrium which is formed during that particular IVF cycle is sloughed off. Since you took lots of hormones , your endometrial lining might be thicker than usual and you might experience heavier menstrual bleeding or you might have more clots (which appears like a tissue) than you normally do. This doesn’t mean you are having a miscarriage or that the transferred embryo was expelled.

If one of my embryos implant, what happens to the other embryo(s) which was transferred along with it?

The embryos which did not implant die and disintegrate. They are removed by your bodies cleaning machinery. You do not need a menstrual period to remove them from your uterus and neither do they harm your developing baby, so do not panic ! 

This is an excerpt from our forthcoming, book, The Expert Patient's Guide to IVF. This being authored by our expert patient, Manju and me.

 You can email Manju at

Her blog is at
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