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In Vitro Fertilization: What Is a Mock Transfer?


In Vitro Fertilization has been developed to help couples that may not be able to conceive otherwise. The technique will involve numerous procedures, some of which will prepare the patient for the actual insemination. A mock transfer is a preparatory procedure that will help the fertility doctors establish where the embryo will go and when the actual placement of the embryo will happen.

Mock Transfer Defined

A mock transfer is typically performed before an actual in vitro fertilization transfer. The process is important as it will determine the size, direction and other specifics of the uterus of the mother. The fertility doctor will need to have as many details as possible, so that when the actual embryo is ready for the transfer to the mother’s uterus, this will be placed in the most optimal position to increase the chances of implantation.

How a Mock Transfer Is Performed

The mock transfer is like a rehearsal for the embryo transfer; however, there will be no embryo transfer performed. The fertility doctor may use a tiny camera that will assist the procedure and will give the doctor an idea about the size, direction and other specifics of the uterus of the mother.

A small catheter will be introduced into the uterus and this will typically not cause any discomfort. However, there may be some cramping while the catheter is in the uterus. The procedure should last no more than 15 minutes and the patient can return to her daily activities after the mock transfer.

The fertility doctor will make some notes or keep some images from the mock transfer, which will help when the embryo will be transferred. The fertility doctor will establish the best position for the embryo insertion, so that it will be more likely for it to be successfully implanted in the mother’s womb.

The Optimal Time for a Mock Transfer

The mock transfer can be performed only during certain days of the menstrual cycle, when the uterus is not enlarged or modified in any way. The best days to perform the mock transfer are between days 4 and 12 of the menstrual cycle. Ideally, the mock transfer should be performed outside the actual IVF treatment.

Many fertility doctors prefer to perform this procedure during the initial consultations for the IVF, but only if the patient is during the optimal days in her menstrual cycle. Other fertility doctors will perform the mock transfer at the same time with the cervical cultures.

How to Prepare for a Mock Transfer

A mock transfer is an outpatient procedure and is not reported as painful. However, more sensitive patients may take some pain medicine before the mock transfer. Anesthesia will not be used, as it is not necessary. The patient can return to her activities after the procedure, but she may take a day off if she has also gone through additional tests (i.e. cervical culture).

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