Sishu Fertility Clinic

Frozen Embryo Transfer | Process, Success Rate, and Medications

What is Frozen Embryo Transfer?

Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a type of IVF treatment in which frozen embryos (fertilized eggs) are transferred to help people get pregnant. The Frozen Embryos are warmed up (thawed) and placed into the uterus in the FET cycle. This frozen embryo can be from the patient’s earlier IVF process or a donor. The doctors select a time from your menstrual cycle and decide the best time for embryo transfer. You also get hormone medicines to help your belly lining accept the eggs.

Process of Cryopreserved embryo transfer

The Frozen embryo transfer procedure for infertility is done with the following steps: 

  1. Preparation:
    • If you have embryos frozen from a previous IVF cycle, they will be thawed.
    • You will take medications (usually estrogen and progesterone) to prepare your uterine lining for implantation.
  2. Monitoring:
    • Regular ultrasounds and blood tests will check your uterine lining thickness.
    • Once the lining is ready, you will proceed to the next step.
  3. Embryo Transfer:
    • A thin catheter is used to place the thawed embryo(s) into your uterus.
    • Anesthesia is not required, and the procedure is usually painless.
  4. Post-Transfer:
    • Rest for a short time after the transfer.
    • Continue taking medications as prescribed.
  5. Two-Week Wait:
    • Wait for signs of pregnancy.
    • Take a pregnancy test after this period.

What are the medications used during FET?

Different hormonal medicines are used during the FET cycle to prepare your body for embryo implantation.

Here is a breakdown of the medications typically used:

Ovarian Activity Reduction:

  • Before the FET cycle, you will take medicines to reduce ovarian activity.

The medicines are:

  • Birth Control Pills: Used to suppress ovarian function.
  • Leuprolide (Lupron) Injection: Another option to reduce ovarian activity.

Endometrial Preparation:

  • Once ovarian activity is suppressed, you will start preparing your uterine lining (endometrium) for embryo acceptance.
  • Estradiol (E2):
    • It can be taken as a pill, injection, or patch.
    • Estradiol (E2) Helps thicken the endometrium.
    • Regular blood tests monitor estradiol levels.
  • Vaginal Ultrasound:
    • Transvaginal ultrasound is done after about 2 weeks of using estradiol.
    • Ensures the endometrium is thick enough for embryo transfer.
  • Progesterone:
    • Given as an intramuscular injection or vaginal gel/pill.
    • Timing is crucial—aligns with embryo thawing and transfer.
  • Medrol (Steroid):
    • Steroids can be used to aid embryo implantation

What is the success rate of frozen embryo transfer?

The success rate for having a baby with a frozen embryo transfer is 60% for women under 30 years old and 53% for women over 42 years old.

  • Genetically tested blastocyst: Success rate can be 50-60%.
  • Untested frozen embryo: Success rate may be as low as 20-30%, decreasing with increasing maternal age.

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