Factors influencing decision-making around day of embryo transfer (1)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Factors influencing decision-making around day of embryo transfer



  • Contact name

    Nicola Marconi

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian

  • Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier

    researchregistry9668, Research Registry

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 11 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    In in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) embryos are created by mixing eggs and sperm. They are then transferred in womb either at cleavage-stage (2-3 days after creation) or blastocyst-stage (5-6 days). Blastocyst transfer has become more frequent as it leads to higher pregnancy rates compared to cleavage-stage embryos in short term. Blastocyst transfer allows the selection of most viable embryos and reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies whilst maintaining high pregnancy rates. As more data are emerging on pregnancy outcomes, blastocyst transfer has been found to be associated with higher risks of preterm birth, large/small babies and congenital anomalies. This could be due to exposure to culture for longer time. Over a longer period pregnancy rates are similar after cleavage-stage and blastocyst-stage transfer.
    Day of transfer is usually decided by clinicians/scientists without patients’ involvement. In an era of shared decision-making, it is important that patients are fully involved and informed about possible risks. Only one study explored patients’ preference about day of transfer, but that only considered pregnancy rates.
    We plan a focus group study exploring what factors drive decision-making around day of embryo transfer among patients and clinicians-scientists. We will recruit patients undergoing IVF treatment and clinicians/scientists involved in IVF process. We plan to conduct 2-3 focus groups for patients and 1-2 groups for clinicians/scientists, with each participant only participating in one session. Audio recordings from video sessions will be transcripted verbatim and data will be analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

  • REC name

    South Central - Hampshire A Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    2 Feb 2024

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion