Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago ivf

IVF embryo transfer catheter and embryo loading

In vitro fertilization involves many steps. It can be highly successful in women under the age of 40. However, even high quality embryos will have a low chance for implantation unless a properly performed embryo transfer procedure places them carefully into the middle of the uterine cavity.

Embryo transfer catheters have evolved over the years and are now highly specialized. They facilitate navigation through the tight and often curved and convoluted cervical canal. These catheters give us access to the cavity of the uterus while minimizing any traumatic injury to the somewhat fragile uterine lining where we need to deposit the embryos.

This video demonstrates details about the embryo transfer catheter and shows embryos being loaded under the microscope into the embryo transfer catheter.

Click "play" to see a video about embryo transfer catheters and embryo loading

Text transcript of embryo transfer catheter and embryo loading video (above)

Embryo transfer is the last procedure in the IVF process. We have cultured the embryos for 3 to 5 days in the laboratory and we've chosen one or more embryos as being the best ones to transfer back to the uterus.

Therefore, expertly performed embryo transfer is critical for the best chance of success. Even with the highest quality embryos, there is a low chance for success if we put them in the wrong location or if there is trauma to the uterine lining during the procedure.

Embryo transfer catheters are two-part devices. There is an outer sheath which is stiffer and an inner catheter which is very soft and flexible. The embryos are loaded into the inner catheter which is placed through the outer sheath. The stiff outer sheath helps guide the inner catheter through the curvy cervical canal to the proper location in the middle of the cavity.

Now, let's load embryos into the catheter under the microscope. The IVF dishes are labeled with at least 2 identifiers. For this demonstration we have labeled the dish with "Patient Name" and "IVF-13-##". This would be the patient's SART number, which is a unique identifier that is given to each patient when they begin their stimulation.

We have 2 unfertilized eggs that we're going to use like our embryos for this demonstration of embryo transfer. You can see the unfertilized eggs at the red arrow. The embryo transfer catheter comes in, picks up the two embryos, then we lift up out of the drop of media and pick up a tiny bit of air, then we do the transfer.

Now, let's watch a video of ultrasound guided embryo transfer.

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Chicago, IL 60630

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Gurnee, IL 60031

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Phone: (815) 356-1818
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I am so grateful for Advanced Fertility Center. I just had my son Leland. I want to thank Dr. Catenacci and all of the nurses that helped us. Especially Ashley in the Crystal Lake office. You made this process easier by being supportive and positive. Thank you very much!


Dr. Sherban and his staff are the most amazing, compassionate, and supportive people. After almost 5 years of trying to conceive, going through numerous tests and meeting with another clinic closer to home, who told me my chances even with IVF were still very low, a good friend recommended advanced fertility center of Chicago. Best decision we ever made! We now have 2 amazing children who are now 5 and 3 years old! I cannot stress enough how amazing this staff is, they make you feel like family!


Our experience was amazing with Dr. Cantanucci and all of the nurses (especially Ashley). After ttc for 4 years and at 41 years of age, we became pregnant after 1 round of IVF, and had our beautiful boy this past October. Can't thank them enough!


2/7/15 our son was born all thanks to the assistance of Dr. Sherbahn and his staff. Everyone was so helpful and here for all our questions, worries, etc. They want this for you just as much as you want this for you! Handled with pure professionalism and care from the very start! Thank you advanced fertility!