Frozen Embryo Transfer - FET
A frozen embryo transfer cycle is a procedure using cryopreserved embryos from a previous IVF treatment. The frozen embryos have a slightly lower chance of resulting in a pregnancy than a fresh embryo transfer done in conjunction with IVF. The FET does offer a much easier approach to attempting pregnancy than another IVF cycle and represents an excellent option for continued treatments. Embryos frozen from previous IVF do not have a shelf life and can be used years after the initial IVF cycle from which they were produced. Couples having a successful IVF treatment can return several years later and have an FET cycle done for far less cost than IVF.
The hormonal treatment involved in a FET cycle involves downregulating your ovaries with a medication such as Lupron. You then take estrogen to build up the lining of the uterus. Estradiol patches are our preferred way of providing the estrogen. Several days prior to the transfer of the embryos, you will stop the lupron and begin taking progesterone in oil injections. This coincides with the hormone changes seen with ovulation. The embryos are thawed and transferred into the uterus. A pregnancy test is done approximately 9 days later.
Not all embryos survive the freezing and thawing process. We attempt to thaw the embryos in a manner that we can get the desired number for transfer while maintaining the number of embryos frozen. Often times couples may have a lot of embryos but they must all be frozen in an effort to get 1-2 good quality embryos for transfer. We are happy to discuss FET and cryopreservation if you have any additional questions.