Embryo Transfer – PUPO

Embryo transfer day finally arrived. I was told there would be a 90% chance of a successful thaw.

I received a call from the nurse the day before the transfer. She instructed me to empty my bladder one hour before the transfer and that I would need to have bloods to check my progesterone levels. If levels were too low, daily dosage of pessaries would need to be increased.

We saw the nurse upon arrival. She told me to continue the medication I was on – progynova, pessaries and folic acid (pregnancy vitamins) and advised me that if any bleeding occurred in the next couple of weeks I would need to contact the nurses as soon as possible. I’m told panadol is safe to take, no alcohol, no hot bath. She explained listeria – foods to avoid, food storage and rules around reheating food. You can find detailed information about this online.

I was advised that my pregnancy blood test would be in 11 days time. A positive pregnancy test is confirmed by a level of hCG 150iu/L or greater. A negative test is a result under 5iu/L. If the result is somewhere in between, the blood test will need to be repeated in two days time to see whether hCG is increasing or decreasing. If a negative result and no bleeding occurs within 7 days, the blood test will also need to be repeated.

The procedure
We made our way to the waiting room where I signed some paperwork and did all the identification checks. You will soon come to realise that anyone you come into contact with during any appointment or med pick up will ask you for three points of identification – name, address, DOB or for your patient identification number. A nurse then took my blood pressure and temperature before we were to wait for my FS. Once called in, it was bottoms off, gown on and onto the reclining bed. The procedure was so quick – under 10 minutes in total. It all seemed too good to be true considering the long haul it took to get to this day. The procedure was painless, just a little uncomfortable like a pap smear.

During the procedure an abdominal ultrasound is used to guide a catheter into the uterus. A moderately full bladder is required to ensure good ultrasound visualisation of the catheter. The embryologist and FS go through identification checks again and showed us our embie on a screen before loading it into the catheter. The catheter is then passed through the cervix and once in place, the embryo is released. The embryologist then checks the catheter under a microscope to ensure it has been released successfully.

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Image: Reproductive Medicine Wagga

That was it – straight in and out! It was a little strange getting up and leaving so quickly. I felt like I was walking a little funny and didn’t want to empty my bladder – I know this seems silly but you just think it could fall out! I was told I could continue with normal day to day activities. I took the day off work and DH treated me to a nice lunch and new perfume 🙂

I received a call a few hours later with my blood test results. My progesterone level was 54.8 so I could continue my two daily doses of pessaries for now.

Side effects
That evening, I felt crampy and bloated – both side effects of the transfer. I also had mild waves of nausea in the next couple of days, mainly at night when I went to bed, a little bloating, pelvic pain on my left side and cramps that came and went on the same left side. I know these could be side effects from the transfer but also a sign that our embie could be implanting. I’m not going to think too much of it because these are also symptoms I can get before AF, and usually did get before a failed cycle. In IVF/fertility terms I’m currently PUPO which is pregnant until proven otherwise. The waiting continues…

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