The Poppy Seed Sandwich

After an embryo transfer, patients often wonder the following: Is my embryo going to fall out?

I think it’s a natural fear, especially since so many hopes and dreams are riding on the outcome of the embryo transfer.

Even though an embryo transfer is a highly technical procedure, one thing is certain: You can’t cough/pee/sneeze/squeeze/jostle an embryo out of the uterus.

Nearly fifteen years ago, when I was a new Reproductive Endocrinology fellow, someone explained an embryo transfer as “Throwing a velcro ball into a shag carpet.”

While I got the analogy because I’m old enough to remember the 1970s, it didn’t resonate with me.

So I thought of my own: Placing an embryo in the uterus is like putting a poppy seed in a peanut butter sandwich.

The embryo is tiny. The lining is thick and sticky. There’s no way that poppy seed is coming out.

Over the years I’ve explained an embryo transfer this way thousands of times. If you’ve ever worked with me, heard me lecture or been a patient or trainee, you’re probably sick of hearing it.

To wit: a patient told me about a year ago that she shared this on a huge fertility support group site and now I was famous as the Peanut Butter and Poppy Seed Doctor.

I can live with that.

Stick and grow embryo.

Stick and grow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s