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What is Frozen Embryo Transfer?

After undergoing IVF, there is an option to freeze the eggs that are not used. Once the frozen embryos are ready to be used a patient will then undergo Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). As part of the FET treatment, instead of retrieved eggs, our frozen embryo(s) (fertilized eggs) will be used for implantation. Only embryos considered to be potentially viable using reasonable medical judgment will be transferred.

How Frozen Embryo Transfer Process Works?

Transfer of the previously frozen embryos to the uterus will require a normal uterine lining and very close synchronization to the normal process of ovulation.  This may require monitoring with blood tests and ultrasound examinations.  A combination of estradiol and progesterone medications may be utilized to prepare the uterus for embryo transfer.  These medications may be administered vaginally, by mouth and/or by injection.  The choice of medications and doses will vary in different patients depending on medical and related factors.

The embryo implantation/transfer procedure requires no anesthesia and there is normally only minimal discomfort.  The procedure resembles the examination utilized during a Pap smear test.  A speculum is inserted into the vagina to visualize the opening of the uterus (cervix) and a small plastic tube is passed into the uterine cavity.  The embryo(s) is then expelled through the tube into the uterine cavity.  Usually there is little or no discomfort associated with the procedure.

Following the transfer of the embryo(s), bed rest may be required for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Intramuscular injections of progesterone-in-oil or other progesterone preparations may be prescribed until either pregnancy is established or a subsequent menstrual cycle is begun.  This hormone is given to aid in implantation and pre-embryonic growth.  It may also be necessary to abstain from sexual intercourse and exercise for a period of time following the transfer procedure.

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