In Vitro Fertilization Alternatives: Tubal Embryo Transfer

Tubal Embryo Transfer, or TET, is one of the many In Vitro Fertilization alternatives. Tubal Embryo Transfer is actually a modified form of IVF treatment, rather than being a unique alternative.

Comparing Tubal Embryo Transfer and IVF

TET combines the basics of IVF with fallopian tube transfer. Embryos in TET are prepared very similar to their handling in IVF, i.e. the female’s eggs are retrieved and fertilized with a tested sperm sample in laboratory-controlled settings. The resulting embryos are then assessed to choose a small group that presents the greatest likelihood of sustaining the pregnancy. Similar to IVF, TET too has a dependence upon hormonal supplements that are administered to the IVF female before the start of treatment and after the placement of embryos.

However, TET uses a different method of implanting the prepared embryo. In IVF, the embryo is placed within the uterine tissue of the female patient. In TET, the embryo is placed into the fallopian tube of the woman. This is done with the help of a catheter and a minor surgical process that doesn’t cause any pain. TET technicians follow a strict schedule for placement of the embryos to ensure that the implantation is successful and that the fallopian tubes are ready to receive the embryo.

This does turn into a slightly higher success rate for Tubal Embryo Transfer procedures in terms of achieving success with an implanted embryo but it has a limitation. It is dependent upon the overall condition of the fallopian tubes of the IVF female. Among women who are suffering from blocked fallopian tubes or those who have impaired uterine functionality, this alternative to implanting the embryos is not feasible.

Tubal Embryo Transfer Advantages

It should be understood that the choice of fallopian tubes as the implantation site in Tubal Embryo Transfer is based upon a scientific reason. During the course of normal or non-assisted pregnancies, the embryo spends its initial days within the fallopian tube before moving towards the uterine cavity. The embryo eventually locates a suitable site within the uterine environment and attaches itself to the uterus.

Tubal Embryo Transfer is aimed at providing the embryo the natural semblance of a normal pregnancy, i.e. it is allowed to migrate itself from the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. This is in stark contrast to IVF, wherein the embryo is always implanted upon the uterus. In IVF, the site for uterine placement is decided by the IVF technician.

This usually doesn’t include any risk, but the slightest of mismanagement in choosing the implantation site can lead to impaired development of the embryo. Though such complications have been seldom reported, this gives Tubal Embryo Transfer the advantage of being a safer technique for embryo placement when compared with IVF.

TET Application

Tubal Embryo Transfer is more commonly recommended for couples wherein the male factor infertility is induced by conditions that don’t show signs of improvement even after medical assistance. It is usually recommended when the male infertility is induced by reasons such as low sperm count or poor motility.

Please not that TET is not among the most preferred of contemporary artificial reproductive methods. When it was first introduced, Tubal Embryo Transfer was deemed as a slightly more precise form of IVF treatment but its application is quite limited. The progression made in IVF technology, and the combination of IVF treatment with various other artificial reproductive technologies has ensured the preference for IVF treatment over TET.