Frozen Embryo Transfers- Can the embryo fall out?
After the embryo “fall out” has been transferred and inserted between the uterine walls, it’s not possible for the embryo to fall out as it is deep within the uterus and therefore you can safely continue with your normal routine after having an embryo transfer.
The transfer itself is a fairly simple procedure with very little discomfort. A thin, soft catheter is threaded through the cervix under ultrasound guidance, to be very exact in the embryo placement location, generally 1 to 2 cm from the top of the uterine cavity. After cleansing the cervix with solution, the fertility doctor will place an empty transfer catheter through the cervix into position inside the uterine cavity. Then the embryologist will bring the catheter containing the embryo(s) from the lab a few feet away, so we can minimize the time that the embryos are exposed.
Once we have the embryo(s), we feed the catheter with the embryo(s) fall out through the empty catheter that is in place. On the ultrasound screen, the patient will be able to watch the bubble of air and fluid the embryo is contained in getting placed gently into the uterine cavity. After placement of the embryo(s), the embryologist checks the catheter under the microscope to make sure that the embryo(s) is transferred properly. Then the patient can get up and go straight to the bathroom if needed.
After that, the embryos “fall out” have to implant into the uterine lining on their own over the next few days, with the goal of developing into a successful pregnancy.
But Shouldn’t I Go on Bed Rest?
Several recent studies have confirmed that immediate bed rest after embryo transfer is completely unnecessary. It may seem counter-intuitive, but, in fact, a study published in a well-respected peer-review journal, Fertility, and Sterility (Fertil Steril 2013; 100: 729-35), demonstrated better pregnancy rates with the immediate resumption of normal activities (including the bathroom) compared to bed rest right after the embryo transfer.
What is a Pessary??
Pessaries. A very messy and unpleasant part of many IVF cycles. What is a progesterone pessary? It’s a sort of wax-coated hormone delivery device that can be inserted into the vagina and or anus. The wax coating melts with your body heat to release the hormone you need.
When the wax coating melts, some of it will inevitably drop out. Vaginal insertion will likely be easier, but messier. Anal insertion will likely be a bit more awkward but overall less messy. In both scenarios irritation can occur- either of the cervix or bowels, causing you to have to switch routes.
The Preggars Kitchen has a wonderful and lighthearted essay on this topic. “Pessaries are the enemy of pants!”