After fertilization, which naturally takes place in the fallopian tubes, the embryo migrates down the reproductive tract to the uterus. The embryo then attaches to the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, and begins to receive oxygen and nutrients from the mother through blood transferred at the attachment site. This process is known as implantation and naturally occurs about nine days after ovulation in women with regular menstrual cycles.

In women requiring assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), the embryo is placed directly into the uterus with a catheter using ultrasound guidance. During IVF cycles, patients are given medications that mimic the menstrual cycle to help prepare the uterine lining for transfer and implantation.
Frequent ultrasounds allow the physician to closely monitor the patient’s progress and lining thickness throughout the IVF cycle. A positive pregnancy test should result in approximately one week after implantation.

If you have any questions about implantation, please ask your RMA Lehigh Valley physician or nurse.