Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
You may do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle, if you have frozen embryos and wish to use them. This may be after a delivery of a child, and you wish to come back and use your frozen embryos. It could also be after an unsuccessful stimulated IVF cycle, in which you have obtained frozen embryos.
The benefits of a frozen embryo transfer (FET) over a fresh (stimulated) cycle include lower cost, less complex treatment (e.g. no surgical retrieval of eggs), less medication, and generally similar success rates.
The success rates of an FET are nearly the same as fresh IVF cycles.
FETs use blastocysts or embryos day 3 that have been frozen following a fresh cycle.
At cycle baseline, patients are instructed to begin estrogen, to build the uterine lining. At ‘lining check,’ upon demonstrated of a thickened endometrium, patients are instructed to add in progesterone. A frozen embryo transfer date is confirmed, and the patient presents for her frozen transfer.
Estrogen and progesterone continue during the frozen transfer, and through the blood pregnancy test, about two weeks later.
Most patients will be on a cycle/month of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) before their actual frozen cycle.
An average patient may have 3 appointments during her cycle. One for a baseline evaluation (blood and vaginal ultrasound), before her medications are started. 2ndat mid-cycle (‘lining check’), to insure the uterine lining is thickened, and 3rd on the transfer appointment itself. Then a beta HCG pregnancy test two weeks later will be done.