The Stages Of Embryo Transfer: When IVF Gets Weird

You’ve learnt to deal with your raging hormones, you’re totally over your needle phobia (because you had no choice), and you’re so familiar with the “dildocam” that you kinda feel empty without it. There’s just one more bizarre IVF experience to deal with: the embryo transfer.

Hang tight… here’s what happens:

Dehydration never felt so desirable

The weirdness will start when you drink more water than a drowning camel but aren’t allowed to pee. Then you’ll get taken into theatre and scanned through your tummy, where a nurse will tut and tell you that your bladder still isn’t full enough. So you’ll go back into the waiting room and load up on vending machine tea out of styrofoam cups, before waddling back to theatre while complaining about the disgustingness of UHT milk.

The nurse will tut some more but say she thinks your bladder is full enough now. “You THINK it’s full enough now???” you say to yourself, while grabbing onto your nether regions and bouncing on the spot like a three-year-old.

Future human alert

Around the same time that all this is going on, you’ll be shown a teeny tiny test tube and asked to confirm that the names written on it are those of you and your partner. “Holy fuuu… I mean… whoa…. there’s a potential baby in there,” you’ll accidentally say out loud, reminding yourself once again about the strangeness of this entire occasion.

After that, you’ll remove the bottom half of your clothing and be given a blanket to protect absolutely no modesty whatsoever, because… well, you’ll see.

The opposite of a “closed set”

You’ll lie on a couch and have your feet guided into stirrups, and then a TON of other people will enter the room from some sort of secret entrance. You don’t know who they are or what they’re there for, but they give the impression that they’re doctors rather than teenagers playing a particularly engrossing round of Pokemon Go.

All of a sudden, your couch will tip you backwards by about 45 degrees and the entire room will be able to see your pubes. The blanket will kind of hang out above your knees, keeping your thighs warm.

As for your partner… he’s been plonked in a chair right next to one of your thighs. He doesn’t quite know where to look, but he’s pretty sure it shouldn’t be at your vag – so he attempts to look interested in his fingernails instead.

Dysons have other uses, apparently

Then it’s finally time for for the embryo transfer! They’ll vacuum out your vagina (really), before loading the embryo onto a small catheter and inserting it into your uterus via your cervix. Ten minutes later, you’ll be allowed to wee and go home.

Bloody strange.

This article first appeared on – which contains fun, plain-English guides on everything you wanted to know about IVF (but were afraid to ask).