Frozen Embryo Transfer – All You Need to Know

12th April 2022

Heard of Frozen Embryo Transfer before but have no idea about it? This article aims to solve your unanswered queries regarding the same.

A Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) refers to a type of fertility treatment where a cryopreserved/frozen embryo which has been developed in a previous IVF cycle, is thawed and transferred to the uterus.

On the day of FET, the cryopreserved embryos are thawed and transferred to the uterus via a catheter.

Since you have frozen embryos from a previous IVF cycle, the FET procedure is usually less elaborate, inexpensive and less physically and emotionally stressful than initial IVF attempts.

Patients prescribed for FET will first need to undergo a fresh IVF cycle to develop embryos.

Steps involved in Frozen Embryo Transfer

The embryos are meant to be transferred on a specific day of the menstrual cycle. This day signifies that the uterus is most receptive to the embryo and is known as the “implantation window”.

Before the FET cycle begins, you will be recommended generic tests, such as a pelvic scan to know about your endometrial thickness and a hysteroscopy.

There are various regimens to prepare a woman for a FET cycle.

  • Hormone replacement cycles: After a pelvic scan, you will be given estrogen supplements to assist the endometrium to grow in thickness. On reaching the desired level, progesterone is given and the FET is set on a particular date.
    The process may be combined with suppressive injections which facilitate a process known as downregulation.
  • Natural cycles: In these cycles, no medication is required. Doctors track your natural process of ovulation and the day of the procedure is determined using a combination of ultrasonography, urine and blood tests.
    The embryo transfer is to be done in the implantation window.
    When the FET day finally arrives, the embryos are thawed and their quality and survival are properly examined and then transferred into the uterus.
Reasons to choose Frozen Embryo Transfer

Based on your specific health conditions, your doctor may recommend a FET to augment your chances of getting pregnant.

Here are a few reasons why undergoing a FET may help with your fertility goals.

  • Higher success rates: Frozen embryos give extra opportunities for transfer. Hence, you have more pregnancy attempts. Moreover, if your fresh cycle transfer has failed, you can try again without undergoing another egg retrieval.
  • Easy to schedule: FET cycles can be scheduled as per the convenience of the patients.
  • Less costly than Fresh cycles: After a Fresh Embryo Cycle, the subsequent FET cycles will cost less as the medication will be minimal and there will be no egg retrieval.
  • FET cycles offer a natural uterine environment for the developing pregnancy.
  • FET cycles are less stressful.
How to Prepare for a Successful Frozen Embryo Transfer?

Your FET process may be a cause for stress and ambiguity. Hence, you need to prepare for the transfer beforehand so that you can boost the odds of a productive FET.

Follow these tips before your treatment to have a successful FET.

  • Take your medications on time: The doctor will prescribe you estrogen and subsequently progesterone and other supplement medicines to better prepare your uterus for FET.
    You must have a stock of adequate medicines and know how to consume them. Plan out what doses you need to take each day and ensure you have proper access to them.
  • Get enough rest (Before and after the procedure): Sleep and good fertility are closely associated, so make sure you get sound sleep to have a good Frozen embryo transfer.

Before you go to bed, try to:

  • Prevent consuming tea/coffee.
  • Avoid eating.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature between 16 – 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Stretch your body and loosen your muscles.

Consume FET safe meals: Many fertility experts recommend a nutritious and well-balanced diet to lower inflammation in the body.

Intake of an antioxidant-rich diet is important before your embryo transfer, so you must consume fresh produce and fruits.

In addition, you must also increase the consumption of the following food items:

Whole grains, legumes, soups, lean proteins (such as low-mercury fish and chicken) and healthy fats (These include walnuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil and so on).

Prevent high-temperature exposure near the abdomen and uterus: Visiting saunas, hot tubs, or other bathing activities is not a good idea. These high-temperature activities can inhibit embryo transfer chances at the end of your frozen cycle.

Also, use a laptop tray or thick material that can block the heat from your laptop.

Entertain yourself: Having a stock full of books, music, movies, etc. can help you take your mind off the nail-biting experience that you may be going through for the first time.

Moreover, staying entertained throughout your FET cycle can help you to take good care of yourself.

Final words

Frozen Embryo Transfer is a good option for many people using IVF, and is generally more effective than Fresh Embryo Transfer. However, whether FET is suitable for a patient or not depends on several personalized factors.

Your fertility expert is the best advisor on whether this treatment is the most optimal for you or not.

If you are keen to learn more about this fertility approach, contact us and schedule your appointment with our fertility specialists.

Submit Details to Request A Callback