Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 131-135

First online:

Effects of embryo transfer quality on pregnancy and live birth delivery rates

  • Dietmar SpitzerAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—Salzburg Email author 
  • , R. HaidbauerAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—Salzburg
  • , C. CornAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—Salzburg
  • , J. StadlerAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—Salzburg
  • , B. WirleitnerAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—Bregenz
  • , N. H. ZechAffiliated withIVF Centers Prof. Zech—BregenzDepartment for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Unit of Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, University of Graz

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To analyze the effects of embryo transfer (ET) quality on clinical pregnancy (CPR) and live birth delivery rates (LBDR).


In a retrospective study at a single, private infertility center between November 2005 and December 2009 one thousand fifty-five day-3 and day-5 ETs following IVF/ICSI/IMSI were evaluated. We analyzed the impact of an atraumatic ET with a soft catheter (ET 1), after external guidance (ET 2), after probing of the cervix with a stylet (ET 3), or after grasping the portio vaginalis with a tenaculum (ET 4) on CPR and LBDR.


The use of external guidance showed a significantly reduced LBDR as compared to an atraumatic ET (26.0% vs. 32.5%). The lowest CPR and LBDR were found in ET 4. The application of stylets in cases of difficult ETs was superior to the use of external guidance. No differences in miscarriages between ET 1–4 were noted.


Besides embryo culture and patient history, the quality of an ET might also have an important impact on pregnancy outcome. Techniques to ensure an atraumatic ET, such as mechanic uterine cavity length measurements, before starting treatment might help identify patients at risk for a difficult ET and lead to modified treatments, such as the primary use of a stylet. Limitation of study: retrospective analysis


Embryo transfer quality Embryo transfer technique Assisted reproduction Clinical pregnancy rates Live birth delivery rates