The following information focuses on Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), what it means, how it's done, and the multitude of benefits it provides to our patients. This is a large topic including many factors, treatments and strategies that cannot be covered in a blog post.
Only a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) can cover all the ground necessary to gain a complete understanding of the new technologies and treatments available to patients who want to select the gender of the child, avoid passing down genetic disorders, or avoid chromosomal abnormalities in their children.
Why choose IVF + Frozen Embryo Transfer
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) followed by a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is an attractive course of action for patients who wish to exercise acute control over their journey to their parenthood, have experienced unexplained miscarriage, and/or are at higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
A frozen embryo transfer includes benefits such as:
Lower cost than other fertility treatments
Less time consuming/ fewer monitoring appointments
Less complex treatment
No anesthesia or egg retrieval
No risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
High success rates
Frozen Embryo Transfer Process
Whenever a patient has frozen embryos resulting from an IVF cycle, she can choose to complete a FET cycle, which takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Results are very high for this type of treatment cycle.
Depending on ultrasound and blood test results, injections of estrogen are then started to build the uterine lining. Throughout the cycle a patient will have regular monitoring appointments to check that the hormone levels are appropriate and the endometrial lining has thickened. Progesterone is also added to daily medication regime.
Once the Frozen Embryo Transfer is complete, daily estrogen and progesterone injections must be continued for about two weeks.
Because of the benefits FET has to offer, this tends to be a popular assisted reproductive method for some. Of course, every patient is different so discussing the best fertility treatment with a fertility specialist is highly advised.
Genetic Testing of Frozen Embryos
Morgan Fertility can test embryos for certain genetic mutation in our laboratory. If you have the risk of passing a certain genetic condition, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed.
First a physician retrieves fertilized eggs and then a biopsy is performed on each embryo by an embryologist. Once this is completed the embryos will be frozen awaiting test results. Lastly, the physician will transfer the embryo where the genetic mutation is absent.
Embryo freezing has allowed for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) which looks for abnormalities in chromosomes. Screening helps detect Down syndrome, and other abnormalities causing miscarriages.