The Story of What Happens After an Embryo Transfer



My third FET (frozen embryo transfer) was two days ago. I have 8 more days before I find out if I’m pregnant or not. You can imagine how slowly this time period seems to drags on for.

I do a lot of praying and waiting and waiting and praying and praying and hoping and hoping and waiting. I also over analyze every twinge and cramp.

Oh, and of course I Google every possible topic: implantation bleeding; earliest signs of pregnancy; how soon do pregnancy tests work; and on and on. Since this is my third FET (my 5th fertility cycle), I’m less anxious as previous attempts. I think that just comes with the territory. As much as I want this cycle to be the cycle, you get a little more used to the reality of your chances with each failed attempt.

So this go-round, I’m stressing less. I find myself thinking about more substantial transfer-related topics instead of getting excited over some minor spotting (which might be a sign of implantation bleeding; I had some yesterday).

Aside from all the speculation that occurs during the 2 week wait (which is really only a 10 day wait for IVF moms), there’s actually some legit things going on after a successful embryo transfer. I was happy to be able to turn to NYU Fertility Center for the day-by-day breakdown of the what happens after an embryo transfer:

  • Day 1: The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell.
  • Day 2: The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
  • Day 3: The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
  • Day 4: Implantation continues
  • Day 5: Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
  • Day 6: Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
  • Days 7 + 8: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
  • Day 9: Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

Those are the successful beginning steps of pregnancy, and they’re what I’m praying is happening as you read this.

Eight more days.


Source: NYU Fertility Center
Photo: iStockphoto

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