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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Understanding the Frozen Embryo Transfer Process Step by Step

  • Published on August 22, 2023
Understanding the Frozen Embryo Transfer Process Step by Step

FET is an advanced technique of ART used for fertilization to achieve a future pregnancy. The process of transferring cryopreserved embryos into a woman’s uterus to induce pregnancy is known as frozen embryo transfer (FET), and it is one of the most commonly used methods of assisted reproductive technology. FET requires meticulous coordination between the patient and the fertility clinic during a number of key steps. In the given article, we have provided a timeline that provides a thorough rundown of all the significant steps included in a normal frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle.

Frozen Embryo Transfer Step by Step:

  • Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval:

The first step in a FET procedure is typically ovarian stimulation, which involves taking hormone medicines to encourage the growth of many follicles in the ovaries. The size and maturity of the eggs are regularly monitored using ultrasounds and hormone level tests. The eggs are extracted transvaginally after the trigger shot is given to encourage final maturation once the follicles have reached the proper size.

  • Embryo development and fertilisation:

The recovered eggs are subsequently fertilised in the lab either using traditional in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or, if sperm-related difficulties exist, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The resultant embryos are grown in a controlled environment for a number of days after fertilisation to reach the blastocyst stage, where they are most developed and have a greater probability of implantation.

  • Embryo Freezing (Cryopreservation):

When the embryos reach the desired developmental stage, the embryologists choose the best embryos of the highest caliber for transfer. The remaining high-quality embryos that are not immediately transplanted can be vitrified, a form of cryopreservation, for later use. Patients can perform several FET cycles thanks to cryopreservation without having to go through the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval procedures again.

  • Preparing the Uterine Lining:

The woman’s uterine lining is prepared for embryo transfer after the embryos have been cryopreserved. To produce the ideal environment for embryo implantation, this usually entails hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or controlled ovarian stimulation. The uterine lining’s thickness and receptivity are evaluated via ultrasound scanning and hormone level monitoring.

  • Thawing and selection of embryos:

Prior to the planned FET, the chosen frozen embryos are thawed and their viability is evaluated. Embryos that have the best chances of being implanted successfully often have a high survival rate after being thawed. The embryos may occasionally be subjected to preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to check for genetic anomalies.

  • Day of Embryo Transfer:

The selected embryo(s) are carefully loaded into a thin, flexible catheter on the day of the FET operation. The embryo(s) are transferred into the uterus during a generally quick and painless operation on the patient. The patient is typically asked to rest briefly after the transfer before being given the go-ahead to resume regular activities.

  • Two Week Wait:

The “two-week wait” period begins after the embryo transfer, during which the patient is prohibited from conducting pregnancy tests in order to prevent inaccurate findings. This time frame is critical because it gives the embryo enough room to implant and the hCG pregnancy hormone enough time to reach detectable levels.

  • The Pregnancy Test and Beyond:

The patient takes a blood test to determine the hCG levels, which show whether pregnancy has occurred, about 10 to 14 days following the embryo transfer. A positive test confirms pregnancy, and subsequent ultrasounds are used to monitor the fetus’ progress and guarantee a healthy pregnancy.

Dos & Don’ts for Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Here are a few dos and don’ts that you can keep in mind to optimize your chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy.

Do’s for Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

  • Follow prescribed medication: Medication Comply exactly with the medication schedule that your fertility physician has recommended. The uterine lining must be prepared for embryo implantation with hormone medicines.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle: Eat a balanced diet, do frequent, moderate exercise, and get enough sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help FET be successful.
  • Stay well hydrated: Maintaining proper hydration helps the uterus receive the best blood flow, which promotes the growth of a receptive uterine lining.
  • Join stress management techniques: Engage in stress-reduction exercises like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. High amounts of stress can affect implantation and hormone levels.
  • Schedule routine check-up: Attend all regular medical appointments, including those for blood tests and ultrasounds. The best time to transfer an embryo is guaranteed by routine monitoring.
  • Maintain proper cleanliness: To reduce the risk of infection, adhere to the hygiene instructions provided by your clinic before and after embryo transfer.
  • Stay well informed: Understand the entire FET procedure, possible pharmaceutical side effects, and any restrictions that your doctor may have advised.
  • Dress comfortably: To minimise stress and physical discomfort on the day of the transfer, dress comfortably.
  • Follow doctor’s guidelines: Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully with regard to fasting, medications to take prior to the transfer, and post-transfer restraints.

Don’ts for Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

  • Limit excessive Caffeine: Avoid consuming too much caffeine, which might impair uterine blood flow.
  • Avoid strenuous activities: Avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting in the days leading up to FET since these activities may affect uterine blood flow and implantation.
  • Stay away from hot baths and saunas: Too much heat might interfere with embryo implantation, so stay away from hot baths, saunas, and hot tubs.
  • Don’t skip prescribed medicines: Avoid skipping doses of your medications by adhering to the recommended schedule. Creating the ideal hormonal environment requires consistency.
  • Avoid excessive salt intake: A balanced diet is necessary, but excessive salt consumption can cause bloating and water retention.
  • Limit stressful activities: Avoid high-stress activities that can have an impact on hormone levels and general wellbeing.
  • Abstain from sexual intercourse: In order to avoid potential interruption of the embryo implantation process, your doctor may advise refraining from sexual activity for a set amount of time before the FET.
  • Avoid usage of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs: Since they can have a negative effect on fertility and embryo implantation, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use should be avoided during the FET cycle.
  • Seek support from family and friends: While it’s common to feel anxious during the FET procedure, try to keep your stress and worry levels in check. Reach out to your friends and family for support, comfort, and consolation.

Keep in mind that everyone’s journey is different, and it’s crucial to adhere to the instructions given by your fertility doctor. You can increase your chances of a successful frozen embryo transfer and eventually succeed in your goal of starting a family by following these dos and don’ts.

Questions to Ask a Specialist about Embryo Freezing

Here is a list of questions you can choose from to ask your fertility specialist regarding the embryo freezing process for better understanding:

  • What is the duration of the embryo freezing process?
  • What is the success rate of pregnancy achieved with a frozen embryo?
  • Are there any alternative methods for this procedure?
  • Are there risks and complications associated with embryo freezing?
  • Does your clinic have a lab on-site?
  • Is the embryo freezing process safe and effective?
  • Where will my eggs be stored after retrieval?
  • When can I use my frozen eggs for fertilization?
  • How many eggs should I freeze for future pregnancies?
  • How many embryos are used in one cycle?

What is the cost of Embryo Freezing?

The approximate embryo freezing cost in India may range between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1,50,000. However, the final cost of embryo freezing may vary from one patient to another based on a number of variables, such as the clinic’s location, its track record for success, the particular services included in the package, and any additional procedures or medications needed. A standard frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle can cost anywhere from 50,000 to 2,00,000 or more rupees in India on average. In addition, there can also be recurring yearly storage fees to keep the frozen embryos. Depending on the clinic, these costs can range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 each year. Refer to the below given table for a thorough estimation that can affect the final cost of embryo freezing:

Step  Factors Cost Range
Consultation Initial consultation and evaluation ₹1,000 – ₹5,000
Pre-cycle screening Blood tests, ultrasounds, hormone tests ₹5,000 – ₹10,000
Medication Stimulation MedicationsHormone medications for follicle growth ₹10,000 – ₹30,000
Monitoring Ultrasounds and hormone level monitoring ₹5,000 – ₹10,000
Egg Retrieval Surgical procedure to collect eggs ₹15,000 – ₹50,000
Embryo Culture Fertilization and embryo development ₹15,000 – ₹40,000
Embryo Freezing Cryopreservation of embryos ₹20,000 – ₹50,000
Medications for FET Hormone medications for Frozen Embryo Transfer ₹5,000 – ₹10,000
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Transfer of thawed embryo(s) into the uterus ₹15,000 – ₹30,000

How do I choose a fertility Clinic for Embryo Freezing?

Here are a few tips you can follow while choosing the right fertility clinic for embryo freezing:

  • Check the reviews of the chosen clinic to compare with other shortlisted fertility clinics
  • Assess success rate of the fertility clinic for FET
  • Location of the fertility clinic
  • Distance of the fertility clinic from your house
  • Check the services and facilities provided by the shortlisted fertility clinic
  • Compare the cost of the FET cycle provided by the chosen fertility clinic
  • Check if they providing any additional services along with the FET procedure
  • What are the payment modes accepted at the clinic?
  • Ask if there are any packages available at discounted cost
  • Also, check patient testimonials of the shortlisted clinic to know what they have to say about their experiences and treatment journey with the fertility clinic

Conclusion

The process of transferring a frozen embryo involves a number of crucial procedures, including ovarian stimulation, egg harvesting, freezing, uterine lining preparation, thawing, and the actual transfer. The two-week waiting period is crucial for spotting pregnancy, and the follow-up monitoring assures a healthy pregnancy and delivery. This technology is a significant development in the field of reproductive medicine because it has given many people and couples new hope who are struggling with infertility. If you are planning for IVF through FET or any other assisted reproduction method, consult our fertility specialist today. You can either call the mentioned number or book an appointment by filling in the required details in the given form on the page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the best time for a frozen embryo transfer?

It is suggested that the right time for frozen embryo transfer is the sixth day after the support of progesterone support. However, the right time is determined by the fertility specialist after knowing your case as every individual may respond differently to the fertility drugs given for stimulation.

  • Do I have to take any medication after the frozen embryo transfer process?

In some cases, medication and supplements are provided for the support after frozen embryo transfer in order to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

  • Is frozen embryo transfer painful?

Not really. Egg retrieval process is performed under the influence of anesthesia which makes the procedure painless. However, you may feel discomfort post frozen embryo transfer process which can be managed by the guidelines given by your fertility specialist.

  • How long does it take for the frozen embryo transfer process to last?

The complete IVF procedure with frozen embryo transfer technique may take six to eight days.

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