What Is Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)?
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a technique typically employed during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) routines. The procedure is designed to cryopreserve surplus embryos after transferring up to two embryos to the uterus in any given fertility cycle. Embryos can be frozen at any stage of development during the IVF process. However, studies have shown that freezing embryos on Day 5 has its advantages. Such embryos are known as blastocysts.
Why Choose Frozen Embryo Transfer?
Cryopreserving embryos for the future presents several advantages, including greater savings, access and convenience.
Allowing embryos to grow up to 5 days means that only the healthiest embryos survive, displaying natural selection. 5-day old blastocysts are more likened to organically developed embryos of a natural fertility cycle. As a result, the likelihood of implantation and pregnancy increase.
Repository of Surplus Embryos
The freezing of surplus embryos offers you a backup bank in case your first embryo transfer routine does not result in pregnancy. Frozen embryo transfer (FET) also entails a much lower cost and timeframe than if you were to restart an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure from the ovum retrieval stage.
You may be advised by your doctor to freeze all your embryos in a given IVF cycle, especially when your endometrium exhibits traits of suboptimality. An underprepared endometrium may stem from the presence of a polyp or excessive endometrial fluid. In either situation, a transferred embryo presents minimal chances of implantation, and you may be advised to freeze your embryos until your uterus is more receptive.
Women with polycystic ovaries are prone to ovarian hyperstimulation. If severely stimulated ovaries are noticed, your embryo transfer may be postponed to the next month, allowing your ovaries enough time to heal.
Abnormally elevated hormones in an IVF cycle can adversely affect the endometrium and reduce chances of implantation. In such a case, a FET the following month is a recommended option.
Genetic Testing of Embryos
Genetic testing of embryos via preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is a useful tool to filter out embryos that display an unfavourable genetic predisposition.
Is Frozen Embryo Transfer Right for Me?
As you embark on your in vitro fertilisation (IVF) journey, it's as important to be patient as it is to be positive. One of the reasons that healthy embryos fail to implant is a mismatch between their stage of growth and that of the endometrium. This could be because of high hormone levels or an array of other factors. Freezing embryos and transferring them in a subsequent cycle into an appropriately prepared endometrium offers superior pregnancy rates. Alternatively, you may choose to freeze your embryos if you plan on expanding your family further a few years down the line. On Cloudnine, the success rate of frozen embryo transfer (FET) is 60%, as compared to 40%, of fresh embryo transfers.
What Are the Steps of Frozen Embryo Transfer?
If this hasn't already been done during the IVF procedure, your fertility specialist may screen you and your partner for infections such as Hepatitis B.
A superior technique called rapid freezing is used to flash-freeze the selected embryos. The process ensures minimal damage to the embryos and presents a 90% survival rate upon thawing. Although frozen embryos can be stored indefinitely, Indian law states that frozen embryos can be stored only up to five years.
3Frozen Embryo Transfer
Whenever your uterus is conducive to embryos, your fertility consultant will thaw one or more embryos and carefully place them into your uterine cavity. On Cloudnine, we believe in giving you the best pregnancy possible, thereby limiting the number of embryos we deposit, to two per cycle.
What Are the Risks of Frozen Embryo Transfer?
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) may give rise to risks if not carried out properly. On Cloudnine, we invest long hours ensuring that your procedure is seamless and that your risks are minimised.
Embryos are volatile and susceptible to damage when they are thawing, and that's where the risk lies. If embryos are not thawed correctly, they can be encumbered by ice shards, and be damaged as a result. On Cloudnine, our advanced technologies are tailored to thaw embryos perfectly, ensuring that their survival rates are optimised.
Death of Cells
An embryo is made up of tens of cells, and sometimes, the thawing process could destroy some of them. However, a 100-cell embryo can generally withstand such weathering, and still be strong enough to survive inside the uterine cavity.