What is frozen embryo transfer (FET)?

FET also called Frozen Embryo Transfer is the fertility treatment in which a cycle is followed where frozen embryos Frozen-Embryo-Transfer-FETfrom the previous IVF cycle are warmed up and transferred  back into woman’s uterus meaning that there is no need for the other cycle of hormone stimulation or egg collection.

Medication in FET (Frozen embryo Transfer) cycle

  • GnRH agonist (such as Lupron) is given, either mid-luteal (day 21) or overlapping with a birth control pill.
  • Down-regulation is confirmed by ultrasound and blood tests.
  • Estradiol valerate 2 mg twice daily (orally) is started after the period. This dose may need to be increased after monitoring of the uterine lining thickness.
  • When the endometrium has a “good” thickness, progesterone is started (intramuscular shots, or a vaginal product).
  • Embryo transfer is planned for 3-6 days later – depending on the stage of development of the embryos to be transferred.
  • Estrogen and progesterone are continued in the luteal phase.
  • Pregnancy testing is done 9-14 days after transfer – depending on the stage of development of the embryos replaced and the preferences of the fertility clinic.
  • If pregnant, estrogen and progesterone are continued until about 10-15 weeks of pregnancy and then weaned off.

Why Freezing of the embryo is done?

Freezing of embryo is done to increase the chances of pregnancy for every hormone stimulation cycle and egg collection.

During a fresh IVF Cycle, sometimes we will be able to create more than a single embryo but there are severe risks associated with this chances of multiple pregnancies and due to this we don’t transfer more than one embryo at a time. Therefore, it is recommended to transfer one and freeze the other embryos obtained during the IVF cycles that can be used during the FET cycle in future.

How successful is FET?

Success rates for FET cycles vary from couple to couple by the chosen program handling the case. Some of the programs have low pregnancy success rates whereas other IVF treatments have live birth rates of over 50 % per transfer procedure for women under 35 for frozen-thawed transfer cycle.

On an average, the success rate is near about 30 % but it widely depends on the age of the women’s eggs when the embryos from the egg are frozen. Therefore, when the age of the women is 38 and the embryos are frozen from the women’s first IVF cycle than the women of age 42 , the chances of fertility are more .

How are the Remaining embryos used?

After the FET procedure, once you are satisfied that your family is complete and you have no use of the yours frozen embryos for you personally then one can decide to donate it to the another couple who are facing infertility problem due to inability to conceive with their own embryos and for further clarification one can discuss them with their specialist.

Cost For FET

While IVF treatment is under process, the excess embryos are taken and frozen in cryostorage which can be used according to your requirement either for personal use to conceive ,donation purpose or to discard them.

The basic service for FET is provided at the initial cost of $450 that includes freezing fee and the six-month storage charges which further invites the fee of approx $250 for the next six-month storage as charges and these may differ from hospital to hospital.

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