If your embryos have reached the expanded blastocyst stage by Day 5 you will have an embryo transfer.
Once at the clinic you will change into a gown and robe. There will be no anesthesia so you won’t need an IV. Dr. Robins will talk to you briefly before the transfer and give you a picture of your embryo(s) to keep. Then you will be escorted to the OR where a nurse will check your bladder to make sure it is adequately filled. Your husband/partner may wait in the waiting room and will be able to join you in the recovery area after the transfer. The embryo transfer takes approximately 15 minutes. You will be wide awake and able to watch the procedure on the ultrasound monitor. Then you will go home. There shouldn’t be any discomfort after this procedure so pain medication is not necessary. You will need to continue your progesterone injections daily until instructed to discontinue by your nurse. Abstain from intercourse until your first pregnancy test. Light exercise is safe as long as you keep your heart rate at 140 bpm or lower.
Your first set of labs after your transfer will be to check your estradiol and progesterone levels. We want to make sure your progesterone is absorbing properly and that you are taking the correct amount. This blood test is not an indicator of pregnancy. Nine days after your transfer you will have your first pregnancy test. A urine pregnancy test may not give you accurate results because of some of the medications you have been taking. A blood test, quantitative bHCG and progesterone, will tell us your actual hormone levels, not just give a positive or negative result. If the first pregnancy test is positive another test is done two days later at the same lab.
If your pregnancy test is negative you can stop the progesterone injections. We encourage you to schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Robins 3-4 weeks later. Always call your nurse coordinator when your period begins again.
If your embryos are not at the expanded blastocyst stage by Day 5, they are not ready to be transferred to your uterus. Should your embryos reach the appropriate stage by the following morning (Day 6) they will then be vitrified and transferred during another series.
qPCR (QUANTITATIVE POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION)
If you have opted to have genetic testing done on your embryos, qPCR, you will not have a transfer in the same series as your retrieval. Your embryos will be vitrified after the biopsy is taken and they will remain in our facility until your transfer is complete. The biopsies are then sent overnight via FedEx to RMA in New Jersey where the genetic testing takes place. The results typically take 2-3 weeks.
We will call you as soon as we receive the results. While we are waiting for your results, we will be preparing you for your warmed embryo transfer. This takes approximately six weeks.
The second pregnancy test is just as important as the first. Your bHCG level should double in 48 hours. If they do double, your next follow up is in 7 days and includes an ultrasound with another blood test. We follow your pregnancy for 3 more weeks, or until approximately 8-9 weeks of pregnancy. You will continue progesterone until you are discharged to your OB doctor. This monitoring may be done at another clinic if you do not live in Spokane. We will provide you with orders for monitoring on the day of your transfer.
Spotting and light bleeding are very common during the early weeks of pregnancy, especially with IVF patients. This can range from dark brown discharge to bright red bleeding. We advise you abstain from intercourse until the bleeding stops. If you are having severe cramping accompanied by bright red bleeding call your Nurse Coordinator.
At the Center for Reproductive Health, we're focused on understanding families. Every situation is different, and every potential parent has his or her fears or concerns. So while we're indeed a leader in reproductive technologies, we're also here to enlighten and instill confidence. As an overview, the techniques we employ afford us comprehensive chromosomal profiles, resulting in reduced miscarriage rates and higher implantation rates for healthy embryos. We can make building your family an exciting reality.
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