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Endometrial Receptivity Testing

Endometrial receptivity testing can help our doctors decide when an embryo transfer should occur

Our Indianapolis fertility doctors sometimes recommend a patient undergo endometrial receptivity testing during an IVF cycle. A doctor could suggest this test, also called endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA), if they suspect the patient’s uterus may not be ready to support embryo implantation when a transfer would typically occur. ERA helps the fertility doctor determine the ideal time to transfer an embryo. As a result, it can increase the chance that a healthy pregnancy develops.

How endometrial receptivity testing can help patients become pregnant

To prepare for the implantation of an embryo, the uterine lining thickens. Many people experience this thickening between Day 19 and 21 of their menstrual cycle. However, this time can vary from person to person. As such, it can be difficult to know the exact time to transfer an embryo into a patient’s uterus.

During an IVF cycle, the patient typically takes a combination of estrogen and progesterone supplements for about two weeks. These medications cause the endometrium to thicken in preparation for embryo transfer. While this process works well for many patients, some require endometrial receptivity testing to ensure their uterus is ready for embryo transfer after that two-week window.

Patients who could benefit from endometrial receptivity analysis include those who have had multiple embryo transfers that did not result in implantation and those who only have one or two high-quality embryos. However, any patient wanting to maximize the chance that the embryo transfer results in pregnancy can discuss the option of endometrial receptivity analysis.

What to expect from the process of endometrial receptivity analysis

Endometrial receptivity testing occurs over four weeks. While it can be challenging to be patient during this time, this test can make a big impact on the development of a healthy pregnancy.

Preparation of the uterus. The patient takes estrogen and progesterone for about two weeks.

Endometrial biopsy. Instead of transferring an embryo into the uterus, the doctor performs an endometrial biopsy.

Analysis. A specialist analyzes more than 200 genes in the biopsied tissue. This provides information about when the patient’s uterine lining would be most receptive to an embryo.

Results. The doctor typically receives the results from the endometrial receptivity analysis about two weeks after the biopsy. The results reveal the patient’s ideal window of implantation and if their progesterone dosage needs adjustment.

Next steps. The doctor discusses the results with the patient before scheduling the embryo transfer.

Our Indianapolis fertility doctors walk patients through each step of this process to give them the best chance of developing a healthy pregnancy. Contact us for more information about fertility tests and treatments.