IVF Transfer Success : Ovarian Reserve and Embryo Transfer

Ovarian Reserve is a term used to refer to the quantity and quality of a female’s eggs.  A woman’s ovaries are her “egg bank” from which she draws during her reproductive life.  A woman usually has 300,000 to 400,000 follicles by puberty.  During a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, approx. 20 follicles will begin their journey to become mature eggs.  However, only 1 or 2 eggs will mature into eggs ready for fertilization.  The other eggs are lost. Thus, with age, the number of eggs for a possible pregnancy declines.

Possible solutions for Ovarian Reserve include IVF, using donor eggs or embryos.  For example, an infertile female may seek donor eggs, usually up to 15 eggs (ova, oocytes), when she does not have eggs that can be successfully fertilized, often due to her reproductive age.  This process allows an infertile woman give birth to a child that contains her husband’s genetic makeup.

Embryo Transfer (ET) is 5th stage of a IVF process, whereby fertilisation takes outside of the body, in a petri dish in a laboratory.  The IVF stages include:  ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilisation, selection and Embryo Transfer.  IVF essentially involves removing a woman’s eggs from her body, and letting fertilization to occur in a controlled environment in a fluid medium and then placing the embryo into the woman’s uterus.  Couples who undergo IVF with donor eggs have about a 30 to 50 percent chance of having a baby per IVF cycle.  The success rate of IVF depends in part on the age of the mother-to-be, with the rates significantly decreasing over 40 years of age.  IVF is a popular ART method in most countries, although certainly not an inexpensive procedure.

A typical Embryo Transfer procedure may involve the following:

Two to three days after the donor eggs are fertilized, the best quality embryos are selected to be transferred to the woman’s womb.  For a woman under 40 years of age, one or two embryos can be replaced.  For a woman over 40 years of age, a maximum of 3 embryos can be used.  Any good quality embryos that are not transferred can be frozen.

The doctor or nurse inserts a speculum into the woman’s vagina by Embryo Transfer.  This is the same procedure as a cervical smear test where a speculum is used to keep the woman’s vagina’s wall apart.  A catheter or fine tube is passed through the cervix, normally with the help of ultrasound guidance.  The embryos are passed down the tube into the womb.  Embryo Transfer is normally a pain-free procedure, although the female may experience a little discomfort if the ultrasound is use, because she has a full bladder.  It is generally recommended that a female lead has a few quiet uneventful days after the embryos are inserted.

An embryo must successfully attach itself to the wall of the womb for pregnancy to begin.  If the process is successful, one or more embryos will implant in the lining of the womb and the woman will become pregnant.

Embryo Transfer may also be used when both fallopian tubes are absent, blocked or irreparably diseased, reduced sperm count and motility.


Sandra Wilson
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You can find helpful information about embryo reserve at Aha! Baby.

Originally posted 2011-03-23 04:01:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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