Thanks to modern medicine, there are now different ways to start a family, even if you or your partner have faced fertility issues. Infertility is no longer a dead point — you can still have your dream of raising a child come true regardless of this diagnosis.

Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is one of the assisted reproductive technologies and is a part of the IVF process. The procedure implies a cycle where frozen embryos from previous fresh programs are used to lead you to pregnancy. The embryos that have been stored from the previous procedures are then thawed and transferred to the woman's uterus.

Frozen embryo transfer cycle starts long before the actual procedure. First, you have to start taking fertility medications prescribed by your doctor at your IVF clinic. Then, you need to complete the egg retrieval procedure and get fresh embryos. And only now can you start a frozen cycle to have your embryos frozen so that you have the material for transfer during frozen embryo transfer (FET).

Often, after the previous IVF program, there are unused embryos left. This material is stored at the clinic because patients usually transfer 1 or 2 embryos at the first attempt. In the case of a negative pregnancy result for one reason or another, or if there was a positive result, but patients want another baby, and no embryo donation took place, they go to the clinic and are interested in the procedure of the frozen embryo transfer.

Previously, it was thought that fresh embryo transfer was much more effective than frozen. But today, with the development of technology and years of quality changes in all procedures, this type of program is not less effective than fresh embryo transfer. Keep reading to learn more details about it.

What is the process of a frozen embryo transfer?

  • The procedure for preparation for embryo transfer can be different, both with the stimulation component of endometrial preparation and without, only with monitoring the stages of endometrial development in the IVF cycle.

    The procedure is quite simple, on the appropriate day of the FET normal cycle specified by the doctor, the patient is invited to the clinic. An hour before that, embryologists begin to thaw the embryo or several for the frozen transfer procedure. At this point, the genetic testing on the embryos has been performed if you ordered it.

  • The procedure itself takes place without anesthesia. The thawing process is under the close supervision of embryologists.

    Embryos for transfer are all checked by a special witness system. This takes away all the risks of transferring someone else's genetic material. After the procedure, our doctors recommend staying away from physical activities as well as staying in the ward for approximately 2 hours. After that, the patient needs to wait for the result for 2 weeks and do a blood HCG test.

Frozen embryo transfer process step by step

In order to prepare for the transfer of vitrified embryos and make the program as effective as possible, we offer to go through the following steps.

  • Step 1. Consultation

    As usual in IVF treatment programs, the first and very important step is to consult a doctor. Before starting your frozen embryo transfer process or IVF cycles, your consultation will help reveal whether there are no obstacles to a successful IVF frozen embryo transfer. Issues with the uterine lining, the presence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or increased chances of fetus' health problems like low birth weight may be delaying embryo transfer and all need to be discussed prior to starting your frozen embryo transfer.

    At the consultation, you will have an ultrasound diagnosis. You will also be able to discuss with your doctor what type of stimulation you are interested in or whether you may want to have an embryo transferred in the natural cycle.

    Also, because this program involves the use of already created (frozen) embryos, you will have the opportunity to discuss which embryos are of what quality and how many you want to use in this attempt. Also, an important point and recommendation from us is not to freeze more than 2 embryos on one carrier, and even better 1 embryo if possible

    At the consultation, the doctor will prepare a stimulation protocol for you and prescribe medication. It will also be possible to calculate the dates of your program according to your cycle..

  • Step 2. Preparing for frozen embryo transfer

    The whole process of preparation for embryo transfer begins mainly on the 2nd day of the menstrual cycle. On this day, and 2-3 more times during the stimulation, your doctor will invite you for an ultrasound to check the growth of your endometrium and its readiness for the transfer procedure. When your doctor sees that your endometrium has reached a size suitable for embryo transfer, he or she will tell you the time and date on which the procedure will take place.

    You will be invited to the clinic 1 hour before the procedure. At the clinic, the coordinator will take you to the ward, where you can change clothes and wait for an invitation to the operating room. At the time of the procedure, the patient's bladder should be filled with fluid to better visualize where the embryo is being transferred. After the embryo transfer procedure, we recommend staying in the ward for up to two hours and avoiding strenuous physical activity during the day.

  • Step 3. Pregnancy test

    The test that patients are recommended to perform is a blood pregnancy test, which is also called an HCG blood test. Doctors refer to this analysis two weeks after the procedure of embryo transfer. The result will be known on the next day or maybe even on the same day in the evening.

    After the pregnancy test is positive and pregnancy is confirmed, the doctors record the patient for another 2 weeks for an ultrasound and confirmation of the pregnancy and heartbeat. During this period, they also prescribe medication to maintain the pregnancy until approximately 11-12 weeks with hormonal support cycles

  • How successful are frozen embryo transfers?

    Speaking of the percentage of pregnancy occurrence, the transfer of frozen embryos successful pregnancy rate correlates with the efficiency of identical fresh cycles, but on average 7-8% higher for each identical program. In some cases, the transfer of vitrified embryos is also more efficient because the embryos are transferred on a better day for implantation and are not dependent on a fresh cycle of patient stimulation. .

  • How much does frozen embryo transfer cost?

    Transferring frozen embryos is not really an expensive procedure compared to the assisted reproductive technology alternatives existing on the IVF market. Of course, the price will vary according to various factors, such as the location of your clinic. Usually, the price varies from 1,300 to 2,000 euros. Our agency will be happy to offer our program to you: Frozen embryo transfer – 1,350 EUR.

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