What To Expect if You Are Preparing for a Frozen Embryo Transfer

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If you are preparing for a frozen embryo transfer, or FET, you are in good company. The majority of transfers taking place at Idaho Fertility Center are Frozen Embryo Transfers. This process involves taking frozen embryos from a former IVF (in-vitro fertilization) treatment cycle and thawing the embryo(s) so it(they) can be implanted back into your uterus.

Our team is a strong proponent of FET for helping clients become pregnant, as there are a number of benefits of choosing frozen over fresh transfers. In fact, FETs make up more than 90% of the embryos we harvest. One reason FET has become more mainstream is due to the increasing number of people opting for genetic testing. PGT-A, which is a genetic test can take a week to two weeks to receive results.  Although each situation is unique and options should be discussed with your fertility specialists, more people are choosing FET over fresh embryo transfers. Here’s more information about FETs at Idaho Fertility Center.

Choosing a Frozen Embryo Transfer

If you are trying to decide whether you should use FETs versus a fresh embryo transfer, it is a good idea to understand the FET cycle.  First, you will meet with our Idaho Center Fertility team (physician or coordinator) to review your medical history and that your medical testing and screening are current. From there we will begin by taking a baseline ultrasound and giving you the hormone, estrogen pills that you will need to take for 2-3 weeks as your uterine lining is built up. 

The next time you come in, another ultrasound will be taken so we can make sure that your uterine lining and your blood draw registers proper estrogen levels. During this time, as your endometrium lining thickens, you’ll be given the hormone progesterone to take 6 days, after which we can transfer the embryos. Should your uterine lining and necessary lab work not be what they need to be, we will go ahead and schedule an additional ultrasound and blood draw. 

Prior to seeing us for having the FET transfer, our skilled embryologists will make sure your embryo(s) are thawed out so they can be used successfully in the transfer. The next step involves scheduling an HCG blood draw to be taken 10 days after your FET, and you’ll continue taking progesterone and estrogen until the 10th week of gestation so that your uterine lining can properly thicken up before allowing the placenta to take over.  You’ll also want to schedule your blood work as early in the day as possible so you can get your results back when needed.

One of the best things about having a FET cycle is the high success rate, in fact, it’s just as good as using fresh IVF cycles. It can also have a 2-3 percent higher success rate than fresh IVF as the uterine lining is optimized for implantation. When it comes to your age when wanting to freeze your embryos, you can even wait several years after freezing them before having your FET cycle, because there isn’t any deterioration of the frozen embryo before thawing them for use. Essentially, your cycle can be successful just as if it was done with a fresh IVF cycle.

Benefits to Frozen Embryo Transfer

  • There is reduced cost
  • There are fewer medications to take
  • There is no egg retrieval risking anesthesia
  • There is lower stress (unlike fresh cycles where the stimulation response, egg development, and embryo growth are considered)

How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Transfer Day

When you come in for your frozen embryo transfer, arrive on time and have a full bladder. You will want to take good care of yourself beforehand, so get sufficient rest and sleep to reduce stress on the day you come in for your transfer. It’s important to consume a healthy diet during this time as well. 

Are you ready to take the next step in your fertility journey and have a frozen embryo transfer done in Idaho Falls, Idaho? If you are ready to schedule a visit with one of our board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologists, we invite you to reach out to our Idaho Fertility Center today by calling 208-529-2019. We are excited to a part of your reproductive success!