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Fertil Steril. 2018 Mar;109(3):467-472. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.11.031. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Impact of transfer time on pregnancy outcomes in frozen-embryo transfer cycles.

Author information

1
Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: mlee33@bwh.harvard.edu.
2
Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Women and Infants Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
3
Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify the impact of embryo transfer time (total seconds from the loading of the transfer catheter to the expulsion of the embryo(s) into the uterine cavity) on clinical pregnancy (CPR), implantation (IR), and live birth (LBR) rates.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Academic hospital practice.

PATIENT(S):

A total of 465 women undergoing 571 frozen-embryo transfers with the use of cryopreserved blastocysts in a single academic institution from 2007 through 2014.

INTERVENTION(S):

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

CPR, IR, and LBR.

RESULT(S):

The cohort was divided into tertiles according to transfer time in seconds (T1: 33-55; T2: 57-81; T3: 82-582) with mean (SD) transfer times of 47.4 (5.7), 67.1 (7.3), and 121.9 (55.1) seconds, respectively. Crude CPRs were 43.9%, 48.7%, and 48.7% among the respective tertiles, crude IRs were 36.9%, 39.9%, and 38.6%, and crude LBRs were 34.8%, 39.6%, and 36.0%. In univariate analysis, inferior cohort score, blood inside catheter, difficult mock transfer, and use of an outer sheath were negatively associated with CPR. No association was seen between physician performing the transfer (including fellows) and CPR. In multivariate regression, longer transfer time was not associated with CPR. With T1 as reference, adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) were 1.28 (0.77-2.11) and 1.52 (0.85-2.71) for transfer time groups T2 and T3, respectively.

CONCLUSION(S):

After adjusting for potential confounders, this analysis found that contrary to commonly held belief, longer embryo transfer times do not negatively affect CPR, IR, or LBR.

KEYWORDS:

Embryo transfer; cryopreserved blastocyst transfer; transfer time

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