Have you ever wondered what happens after the embryos are transferred into your uterus and the medical treatment in the IVF procedure is completed? Medically, a cycle begins when the woman is given fertility drugs and the cycle ends when the embryo is transferred to the woman's uterus. However, most couples fail to ask their doctors about what happens after the embryo transfer procedure. After the embryos are transferred to the woman's womb, they still have to overcome the final hurdle - they need to implant!
Here's what happens to the Day 5 embryos ( blastocysts) after their transfer is complete.
- Day 1 – After the embryos are transferred, the cells keep dividing. The blastocyst begins to emerge from its shell and this process is called hatching.
- Day 2 – The second day is crucial because this is the time when the embryo begins to attach itself to the uterine lining. The blastocyst continues to grow.
- Day 3 – On this day, the blastocyst invades into the uterine lining and implantation begins. The woman may have light bleeding and spotting on this day
- Day 4 – On the fourth day, the blastocyst continues to dig deeper into the uterus Light bleeding and spotting may continue on this day as the embryo invades the endometrial blood vessels to nourish itself through the maternal blood supply. However, the absence of any bleeding, cramping, and spotting does not mean that implantation has not occurred so don't let your mind play games with you.
- Day 5 – On the fifth day, implantation is considered complete. The embryo is developing vigorously.
- Day 6 – The growing embryo triggers the release of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) into the bloodstream. This is a hormone that is produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, the specialized cells which will form the placenta later on
- Day 7 – The fetal development is in full swing and the embryo continues to develop quickly. As the placenta begins to take shape, it continues to release more hCG into the bloodstream
- Day 8 – More hCG is released into the blood, as fetal development continues and the placenta begins to function.
- Day 9 – By this time, the levels of the hormone hCG, are high enough in the bloodstream to be detected. You may take a home pregnancy test today. If the test is negative, it could still be a false negative. Wait for another two days and take the test again. The blood test for beta HCG is much more reliable and is usually done about 10 -12 days after blastocyst transfer.
The embryo implantation process is exactly what it would be in a normal pregnancy. However, we monitor it closely to make sure everything is working just as it should.