Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
In normal conditions, it shouldn’t be painful at all. When patients ask me about how the transfer is, usually, I tell them that it’s going to be like having a normal pap smear, and therefore, the only thing that can be uncomfortable is the use of the speculum because we need to see the cervix.
The first thing that you need to do is to decide the size of the speculum based on each patient. We can work with the vaginal speculum that is really thin and very comfortable. In some cases, we may need longer or thicker speculum to get a perfect view of the cervix.
The catheter is thin, it’s like half a millimetre, and we are placing it inside. Unless there is something wrong with the cervix, either because the patient has had surgery or there has been some kind of abnormality or disease, etc., it should be very easy. When we are using the ultrasound, the nurse guides the doctor, and we know exactly how we have to proceed to get into the cervix. Sometimes, there is indeed a cervix that looks like rollercoasters because you have to go first down, then up, and it could be really tricky to get into that. There are different things that you can do to try to make it easier like working with a full bladder because if you have a full bladder, it is going to push the uterus back. Sometimes, in cases especially in which there is a really difficult angle between the cervix and the body. If you push the body back, the angle is going to be much easier, and the transfer as well.
Knowing your patient and making the decisions before the transfer should make it easy and absolutely painless in the majority of the cases.
May embryo transfer be painful for a woman?
During the embryo transfer, the embryo is put inside the uterus with a syringe inserted through a vaginal catheter. Does the embryo transfer hurt? Will I feel any pain during ET? How does it work?
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