One of the treatments offering the best chance of success for a diverse population of patients is frozen embryo transfer, also commonly called FET. This is the process of extracting mature eggs from the patient or donor, initiating fertilization using the potential parent’s or donor sperm, monitoring the eggs while they develop into embryos, then proceeding with cryopreservation. When the patient is ready to attempt pregnancy, the embryos are thawed and transferred to the patient or surrogate.
When is Frozen Embryo Transfer Used?
Frozen embryo transfer is used by patients undergoing preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). This is to safely preserve the embryos while the results of the different tests are determined. Additionally, patients attempting pregnancy using in vitro fertilization (IVF) typically fertilize multiple eggs to ensure the highest probability of success. It is also an option for parents who want to ensure fertility if they choose to grow their families in the future. Additional patients who opt for the procedure include:
- Potential parents who are undergoing cancer treatment
- Potential parents who are undergoing treatment that could affect future reproductive health
- Potential parents in the LGBTQ community
What are the Benefits of Frozen Embryo Transfer?
If the patient intends to carry the pregnancy herself (rather than use a surrogate), delaying the transfer of the embryo has several medical benefits. It allows for hormone production to normalize and the uterus to recover after the IVF cycle. This optimizes the chances of successful implantation and pregnancy and reduces the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This can cause severe discomfort and lead to potential complications.
Is Frozen Embryo Transfer Right for Me?
Your particular circumstances will dictate whether frozen embryo transfer will yield the best outcomes. Some patients benefit from initiating a fresh transfer, while delay might be the optimal solution for others.
Your age could also be a factor. Successful pregnancies using frozen embryo transfer are related more to the age of the eggs used to create the embryos than to the parent’s age carrying the pregnancy. Success rates are the highest when the eggs used for fertilization are retrieved from patients under 35.
In many cases, assisted hatching can help mitigate the risk of failure in older patients. Assisted hatching involves the preimplantation rupture of the zona pellucida, a firm layer of cells surrounding the embryo. This procedure helps the embryo attach to the wall of the uterus.
At Pacific Reproductive Center, we have helped a broad spectrum of patients achieve successful pregnancies using frozen embryo transfer as a part of their personalized reproductive treatment plans. We are incredibly proud to offer on-site lab services for IVF, preimplantation genetic screening, and cryopreservation. Our high success rates are due, in large part, to our ability to execute delicate laboratory processes immediately without risking complications due to transportation delays. We will be more than happy to discuss your optimal fertility treatments during your consultation.
During your comprehensive consultation, we will discuss the fee structure for your fertility treatment options. Included in our package fee for frozen embryo transfer is:
- Office visits and ultrasound
- Lab tests (all routine labs through two pregnancy tests)
- Thawing and processing of the embryo(s)
- Embryo transfer
- Assisted hatching
We will also review any risks you are likely to experience due to your unique medical circumstances. In many cases, the risks for frozen embryo transfer might be lower than those commonly associated with fresh-cycle embryo transfer.
If you’re ready to start or grow your family, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at PRC to help you begin your journey.