Single-Embryo Transfer: Timing

Single embryo transfer is a method of increasing fertility for couples that have had difficulty conceiving in the past. It involves the process of transferring a single fertilized embryo into the uterus and helping to attach it to the uterine wall. This procedure was introduced after the success of double embryo transfer as a way of better controlling the instances of twin births. It is generally seen as highly effective and a good way of improving fertility chances for couples suffering from these problems.

Timing of the Transfer

In single embryo transfer, a number of eggs are removed from the woman's ovaries and kept outside of the body for fertilization. When those eggs have been successfully fertilized, the one that appears to be the most viable is then implanted into the uterus. There are a number of timing issues that play an important role in the success of this operation. First, the eggs themselves must be removed when they are fully developed and prepared. Next, they must be fertilized in vitro over a short enough span of time that they remain viable. Finally, they must be implanted into the uterus at the time when the uterus is prepared to accept an embryo.


Because of the delicate nature of the timing of the single embryo transfer procedure, many fertility doctors will want to spend weeks or even months monitoring their patients before they begin the procedure. This will ensure that the chances of the procedure being successful the first time will be as high as possible.

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