IVF Embryo Transfer

The last phase of the the IVF procedure is the placement of embryos into the uterine cavity. This is known as an IVF embryo transfer. During this procedure, a tiny catheter containing the embryos  is inserted into the uterine cavity. It is guided to the best spot using abdominal ultrasound.  In order to see the uterus well with abdominal ultrasound, it is important for the patient to fill her bladder beforehand. The IVF embryo transfer typically takes about 5 minutes to complete.

The IVF embryo transfer is an easy procedure which does not require anesthesia in the majority of cases. The discomfort level is about the same as a PAP smear.  If you are a woman who has great discomfort with PAP smears or does not tolerate the placement of a speculum into the vagina, then you should talk with your doctor about having the IVF embryo transfer done under IV sedation.

The night before the IVF Embryo Transfer

There are no special preparations that must be made the night before the IVF embryo transfer. IVF patients should, however, be taking medications to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. Check with your doctor to make sure you are taking the correct medications and in the correct amount.

Immediately before IVF Embryo Transfer

The IVF embryo transfer is performed with abdominal ultrasound guidance. Abdominal ultrasound requires a full bladder so that the uterus can be seen more easily. It is of utmost importance that you drink enough fluid so that your bladder feels full by the time you arrive.

Please arrive at Naperville Fertility Center one half hour before your procedure. After you check in at the Naperville Fertility Center front desk, you will be taken to a private admit / recovery room. You will be asked to remove all of your clothing (including underwear) and put on a patient gown. The nurse will complete a medical history and you will be asked to sign consent forms.

NFC has installed a locker in each admit / recovery room. Your valuables can be locked up and you can take the key with you or given to the person who accompanied you.

In the Operating Room

For the IVF embryo transfer, you will be taken to the operating room on a cart (essentially a bed on wheels). You will be asked to slide over to the cushioned operating room table. At this point, everyone in the operating room will be asked to stop what they are doing and perform a “time out”. During the time out, you will be asked to say your first and last name, date of birth and confirm that you are having an embryo transfer.

After IVF Embryo Transfer

After the IVF embryo transfer, you will be asked to slide yourself back onto the cart. You will be taken to the same room that you were first admitted to prior to the procedure. You will rest there for one half hour.

Follow up

Pain and bleeding

Some women may experience some cramping after an IVF embryo transfer. Much of this is actually due to the stimulation of the ovaries from the fertility medications that were taken before the egg retrieval. During the next week, it is common for women to experience vaginal spotting.


You can eat a normal diet after the IVF embryo transfer.


There is no scientific evidence that reducing activity after an IVF embryo transfer will improve the chance for success. You may engage in all of your normal activities immediately.

Sexual Activity

Sexual activity may be resumed whenever you wish.