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In Vitro Fertilization (cont.)

Embryo Transfer

The woman will be informed by the laboratory about the status of the fertilization process including the number of eggs that were successfully fertilized. The embryo transfer to the woman's uterus is typically scheduled 3 to 5 days after the egg retrieval, depending upon the maturation of the embryos.

The number of embryos to be transferred will be decided by the doctor and the woman together. This can vary from one embryo to several. In making a recommendation about the number of embryos to transfer, the doctor will consider the woman's age and reproductive history, the quality and appearance of the fertilized embryos, and the risk of multiple gestations.

For the embryo transfer, the doctor transfers the embryos into the woman's uterus through the cervix with a catheter (a long slender tube). This procedure is done with a speculum in a manner similar to a pelvic exam. Anesthesia is not required for this procedure. The woman should then remain in a resting position for the next hour or so.

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