For most IVF patients, seeing your own embryos is an emotional high point . This is the climax of the IVF treatment and represents the culmination of what modern assisted reproductive technology can offer today . It allows you to actually see that your eggs have fertilized , which means everything is working properly ! When your doctor is ready to transfer your precious embryos back in your uterus , this can be an extremely touching moment . It reinforces the fact that you have received good quality treatment and are on the path towards achieving your goal of having a baby . Patients can get very possessive about their embryos and they start thinking of them as being their babies - which is why many patients will refer to their embryos as embies on a lot of bulletin boards.
However, the sad fact still remains that embryos are not babies. The limitation of our technology is that while we are good at making embryos in vitro , we still cannot predict which embryo will become a baby. This is true for multiple reasons, the primary one being is that while making embryos in the lab is within our control , after we transfer the embryos back into the uterus , we have no control over what will happen next. After the transfer , the embryo then has to implant in the uterus . Implantation is a biological process , which we can try to support with medications but cannot control . This is the reason why most embryos don't end up becoming babies . This is true for fresh embryos and for frozen embryos as well, because they all represent potential babies . Sadly, there’s many a slip twixt the cup and lip, as the old saying goes, and this is a barrier, which we have still not been able to overcome.
If your embryo does not implant and your pregnancy test is negative , this is extremely traumatic , because it represents to death of your dreams - and the loss of what were your potential babies. In fact, some women feel that they have killed their embryos when the IVF cycle fails - while others think that a failed IVF cycle is the same as a miscarriage. Neither of these is true. Human reproduction is an inefficient enterprise - whether the embryo is being made in the lab, or in the bedroom ! Even fertile couples take time to get pregnant when they try on their own, so it's hardly surprising that IVF does not have a 100% success rate either.
The reason most embryos do not become babies is that they have subtle genetic defects, which we still cannot identify. This is nature's defense mechanism coming into play - rather than give birth to an abnormal baby, it prevents the embryo from implanting in the first place !