Difficult or repeated sequential embryo transfers do not adversely affect in-vitro fertilization pregnancy rates or outcome

Ilan Tur-Kaspa, Yefet Yuval, David Bider, Jacob Levron, Adrian Shulman, Jehoshua Dor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

In order to assist the medical team in the decision-making process and in adequate counselling of patients when encountering technical difficulties at the time of embryo transfer, we investigated the effect of difficult embryo transfer, with or without the need for cervical dilatation or repeated sequential attempts because of retained embryos in the catheter system, on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy rates and outcome. A total of 854 consecutive embryo transfer procedures were prospectively categorized as (i) easy (smooth, unforced), (ii) difficult (requiring uterine manipulation or increased force or cervical grasping and/or accompanied by trauma), (iii) requiring cervical dilatation, or (iv) multiple (two or three) sequential attempts because of embryos retained in the catheter system. Embryo transfer was easy in 734 cases (85.9%). It was difficult in 72 (8.4%), cervical dilatation was required in 21 (2.5%), and one or two repeated attempts were needed in 27 cases (3.2%). Pregnancy rates for the different categories of embryo transfer were 23.3, 23.6, 23.8 and 29.6% respectively. There were no significant differences in the percentage of the ongoing/delivered pregnancies for the different categories of embryo transfer (69, 64.6, 60 and 62.5% respectively). There were no significant differences in the distribution of embryo transfer types among the six infertility specialists who performed the procedures. To conclude, embryo transfers that are difficult to perform or that require cervical dilatation or repeated attempts do not adversely affect pregnancy rates and outcome following IVF. Cervical dilatation, if needed for patients with cervical stenosis, should be performed at the time of the embryo transfer and not earlier. Surgical transmyometrial embryo transfer or rescheduling patients for delayed embryo transfer could be avoided in most patients. This information is important for patient management and counselling in cases of embryo transfer that are not easy to perform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2452-2455
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998

Keywords

  • Cervical dilatation
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Embryo transfer
  • IVF
  • Transcervical catheterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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