embryo transfer couple

It all comes down to this. Months of waiting. Weeks of preparing. Nights of injections. Countless mornings waking early to an annoying alarm to rush to the office for an ultrasound and blood draw. Hours of waiting for this day to arrive. Minutes waiting for a full bladder. Seconds until it finally happens. And it all comes down to this.

A faint beeping noise grows louder as the isolette holding a culture dish with tiny drops of media that house your embryo, barely the width of a hair in diameter, approaches.

The embryo transfer is the culmination of a tremendous amount of effort on the part of a couple and a team of nurses, doctors, and clinical embryologists. The final hurdle between infertility and moving on with the next step in your lives. Though it is technically a simple procedure ,the significance of this procedure makes it a challenge unlike any other. One false move could be the difference between life and death, literally.

Though I am not a spiritual person, each time I take a moment to meditate and contemplate the gravity of this procedure before the embryologist hands me the transfer catheter loaded with an embryo. Though I have been accused of being addicted to my iPhone and have bumped into people and walls while typing on it, I never bring it in to the transfer room. You have to be in the moment. Getting that catheter, which is as soft as a wet pasta noodle, gently into the uterine cavity is the only thing in the world that matters at this moment. No distractions. Focus. All of one’s senses are needed. The catheter gently works its way through the cervical canal and then, wait, there’s a pause. There’s a curve. A millimeter adjustment of the wrist and it’s in. The plunger is gently pressed and an ephemeral flash goes across the ultrasound screen as the embryo is deposited in the uterus. The catheter comes out and the embryologist gives the clear sign. More waiting for the pregnancy test. It all comes down to this.



Blog post by Dr. Eric J. Forman, MD, FACOG
Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey
Morristown, NJ


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