Frozen Embryo Transfer Can Be an Effective Option for Having a Baby
A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a process in which embryos created during a previous IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle are frozen, or cryopreserved, through advanced freezing techniques. Once frozen, the embryos will remain safely preserved until the parent(s) are ready to build their family. At that point, the embryo(s) are thawed and transferred into the patient’s or surrogate’s uterus. Dr. Usha.B.R is an esteemed fertility specialist at Usha Specialty Centre, J. P Nagar, Bangalore and has vast experience in the science and art of frozen embryo transfer.
From natural protocols to traditional preparations, as well as progressive “out of the box” approaches, Dr. Usha.B.R will determine the appropriate FET protocol for you. At Usha Specialty Clinic,. in many circumstances, pregnancy rates are as high as 70 to 80 percent per embryo transfer.
- As a routine to desynchronise the cycle
- When Pre-implantation genetic testing is planned
- If the patient develops ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome
- If patient wishes embryo transfer at a later date
- Is second embryo transfer is planned
- If embryos are transferred to surrogate
- If the embryos made from donor – oocyte is to transferred to the mother.
What Is Frozen Embryo Transfer?
Patients interested in frozen embryo transfer will first undergo a IVF cycle to create embryos. During this assisted reproductive procedure, Dr. Usha.B.R will harvest eggs through a medication-assisted ovulation cycle and fertilize the eggs with the partner’s, or donor’s, sperm. After about five days of growth in the laboratory, all viable embryos are frozen (cryopreserved).
With our advanced freezing technology, freezing the embryos generally does not have a negative impact on their quality.
During a frozen embryo transfer, Dr. Usha.B.R will carefully thaw the embryo(s) and precisely transfer them into the uterus under ultrasound guidance. Due to a more favourable uterine environment, frozen embryo transfer success rates are believed to be higher than embryos transferred immediately after a IVF cycle, (known as a “fresh transfer”).
Any patient who has embryos that are capable of growing in the laboratory is a candidate for cryopreservation and subsequent frozen embryo transfer. At Usha Specialty Clinic, we advise embryo cryopreservation and frozen embryo transfer for patients interested in expanding their family in the future, as well as those who are ready to grow their family right now.
Steps Involved in FET
The overall procedure of IVF and frozen embryo transfer generally takes about six to eight weeks. A frozen embryo transfer by itself requires about three weeks.
Additional Details on Each Step
Pre-Screening: During the initial consultation, Dr. Usha.B.R will meet with you to discuss your medical, surgical, familial, and fertility history. In addition, the doctor will perform a pelvic ultrasound, and routine blood work to check for infectious diseases, genetic disorders, ovarian strength, and other factors unique to each individual patient. In addition, the doctors will evaluate the sperm quality and evaluate the internal contours of the uterus.
During the IVF cycle: Once the embryos are made, they are grown up to 5 days and frozen in the laboratory.
In the next cycle, the endometrial preparation is done prior to embryo transfer. This can be done in various ways. The one which suits the patients profile shall be known.
HRT (Hormone replacement therapy): In the previous cycle, patient is given a long acting GnRH agonist injection. Preferably between day 14 to day 21. Thus is given to suppress the endogenous hormnes. Following that patient also receives tablets to induce menses. From day 1 of cycle patient would take estradiol tablets for endometrial thickness is monitored on ultrasound. Once it is > 8 mm progesterone medication is started and embryo transfer is done 3 to 5 days later.
Natural Cycle FET
For some patients, Dr. Usha.B.R will perform a natural FET. This process involves very little or no medication and is based on the patient’s organic ovulation cycle. Natural FET can be a better approach for some specific patients. In fact, there are patients who have failed multiple standard IVF cycles, only to conceive with a natural FET. The process requires great expertise and patience to execute properly. Fortunately, the Dr. Usha.B.R at Usha Specialty Clinic has the expertise and patience.
Five days after starting progesterone, your chosen embryo(s) will be carefully thawed in the IVF laboratory. Using ultrasound guidance, Dr. Usha.B.R will precisely transfer your embryo into your (or your surrogate’s) uterus where it will be able to attach and grow into a healthy baby.
Pregnancy Success Rates: Due to our advanced freezing (vitrification) technologies, freezing the embryos generally does not have a negative impact on their success rate. In fact, chances for pregnancy are higher for frozen embryos than embryos transferred during a fresh IVF cycle.
Factors that can affect the success rate of a frozen embryo transfer include the quality and genetic content of the embryos, uterine factors such as fibroids or a uterine septum, as well as immunologic, environmental, and infectious factors. Dr. Usha.B.R will evaluate for all these factors before performing the frozen embryo transfer.
Benefits of Frozen Embryo Transfer
Compared to IVF and fresh embryo transfer, undergoing a frozen embryo transfer generally:
- Provides a higher success rate
- Provides the opportunity for PGS
- Provides a more natural uterine environment for the developing pregnancy
- Is less stressful
- Is more easily scheduled
FET can be an excellent option for starting or adding to your family. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of frozen embryo transfer, contact our practice today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Usha.B.R , our qualified IVF specialist .