in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

How to Deal With Infertility Using Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Procedure?

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 21 Dec 2018 - Written by Dr. Parul Jain - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Frozen Embryo Transfer is an ART procedure performed during IVF treatment to achieve pregnancy. Advancement in IVF technology has increased FET success rates in infertile couples. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease and low sperm morphology are common reasons for FET.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

An FET cycle or Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in which cryopreserved embryos, which were not used or transferred during previous In Vitro Fertilization treatment, are thawed and transferred into the appropriately prepared uterus. Frozen embryos are also called as embryo cryopreservation. Frozen embryo transfer cycles are performed to help infertile couples achieve pregnancy. Continuously failed conceptions can lead to conflict and stress in life of couples hence affecting their relationship. Having a baby is a dream come true for almost every couple. Infertility can cause emotional stress to an individual which, in turn, may affect the relationship between couples. Infertility often nurtures insecurity in women who fear that their partner might leave them as they are unable to give them a child. This ‘infertility stress’ itself become a cause of infertility. Some women are afraid to seek help in such cases thinking that it’s their fault. Infertility is a common medical condition which affects many couples these days due to several medical and lifestyle factors. You can visit elawoman.com if you have been trying for one year and haven’t yet succeeded in conceiving.

Frozen embryo transfer

Elawoman can help you by suggesting various infertility treatments from the best IVF doctors. To know about the cost, procedure and success rates of frozen embryo transfer contact elawoman.com.

In this article we will look at:

  1. When is frozen embryo transfer done in IVF?
  2. Is frozen embryo transfer better than fresh?
  3. What is the success rate of Frozen Embryo Transfer?
  4. What are the risks of Frozen Embryo Transfer?

Indications for Frozen Embryo Transfer

In Vitro Fertilization with frozen embryo transfer is generally offered to women between the ages of 18 and 50 years with infertility disorders. It is assumed that young women have a good quality of eggs. Frozen embryo transfer is useful for women having medical conditions like repetitive undefined miscarriages, early miscarriage, endometriosis and women undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy. IVF with frozen embryo transfer is also offered to the couples opting for embryo donation. Most often it happens that there are healthy embryos spared after an IVF treatment. In such cases, couples donate the spared healthy embryos to women suffering from infertility in order to help them achieve pregnancy. Some other conditions in which frozen embryo transfer is offered are discussed below:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Heavy and painful periods
  • Male infertility (low or no sperm count or morphology)
  • Varicocele
  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease
  • Cryopreserved embryos after a failed fresh IVF transfer
  • Women with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

Frozen Embryo Transfer Vs Fresh Embryo Transfer

In Vitro Fertilization is an artificial insemination procedure in which eggs are fertilized by sperms in the IVF centres. The female partner is given medicines for ovarian stimulation to help her produce extra eggs in the initial In Vitro Fertilization treatment. Once the uterus has been prepared to accept the transfer of embryos, the fresh embryos are then transferred to the potential mother’s uterus. In the cases, where embryos are remaining after a successful IVF cycle, they are cryopreserved in the IVF labs for future use. It was earlier assumed that the fresh embryo transfer has higher success rates of pregnancy as the good quality embryos are used in a fresh embryo transfer. A recent data based on the IVF with frozen embryo transfer has revealed that success rates are higher in cases where frozen embryo transfer procedure was used. The success rates with frozen embryos are higher because, at the time of frozen embryo transfer, no ovarian stimulating medications are used and thus the endometrium is free from any chemicals. The other reason which contributes to higher success rates of frozen embryo transfer can be the age of the mother at the time when the embryos were cryopreserved as compared to the age at which the frozen embryos were transferred into the uterus. Female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are used at the time of frozen embryo transfer to prepare and thicken the uterine lining thereby making the uterus receptive of embryos to be transferred. FET cycles are also useful to schedule the date of embryo transfer in advance. Although unconfirmed, but studies have found that FET cycles have resulted in successful live births than that of the fresh embryo transfer.

frozen embryo transfer vs fresh embryo transfer

Success Rate of Frozen Embryo Transfer

As discussed earlier, frozen embryo transfer success rate is higher as compared to fresh embryo transfer. Over the years, the success rates of pregnancy have increased with FET cycles. Factors which are directly associated with the frozen embryo transfer success rate are quality of embryos and modern freezing techniques used in freezing the embryos. According to IVF doctors, embryos, which successfully make it to the blastocyst stage, have better chances of resulting in successful conception. It was a challenge for IVF specialists to make embryos survive in a healthy condition for more than three days. With the advancement in modern technologies, it has become comparatively easier to develop embryos in IVF laboratories to the stage of blastocyst. The cryopreservation and thawing process has become easier with the advent of latest technologies hence resulting in the transfer of healthier sperms. With the introduction of ‘flash freezing’ process called as ‘Vitrification’, embryos can be easily and swiftly cooled to freezing in less than a minute. With the help of the vitrification process, embryos can now be stored for an indefinite time without harming their quality.

Risks of Frozen Embryo Transfers

Frozen embryo transfer is the most adapted method of ART for treating infertility related disorders. Like other infertility treatments, there are certain risks associated with frozen embryo transfer and they are as under:

1. Thinning of Endometrium

The chances of successful pregnancy reduce when the endometrium or the uterine lining does not thicken enough even after using the female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. In such cases, supplement drugs are used by IVF doctors and in other cases, the embryo transfer procedure is suggested to be canceled and is advised to try at a later stage, maybe by using another method.

2. Time of Ovulation

To prepare the uterine lining for implantation, female sex hormones such as progesterone are used in order to ascertain the perfect timing of the implantation. A noticeable shift in the ovulation can lead progesterone levels to raise early, hence causing difficulty in embryo implantation. Use of certain ovarian stimulation drugs can also be administered to interrupt ovulation from taking place.

3. Fluid in Uterine Cavity

The accumulation of extra fluid in the uterine lining which can be easily seen on an ultrasound can play a major role in reducing successful chances of implantation. To treat this problem, sometimes, IVF doctors use a catheter to aspirate the fluid from the uterine lining. If the problem still persists, the FET cycle is canceled and is advised to be conducted in a coming month.

FET with Ela’s Support

Planning to start a family? Visit elawoman.com now to get the best fertility treatments from recognized IVF specialists, that too at affordable prices. Planning frozen embryo transfer with Elawoman has many benefits including instant response and affordable cost of the treatment. At Elawoman, you can get the most effective assistance to get information about professionally trained medical and paramedical staff at the best IVF centres across India. Till date, Ela has accounted 56,000+ successful births and has a record of the highest success rate of surrogacy, ICSI and IVF treatments. Our fertility experts strive to provide their patients a transparent and reliable assistance in order to help you find the best fertility treatment suitable for you and your budget based on your medical history and health condition. In case of fertility- related doubt or query, visit us at elawoman.com. You can also book an appointment by calling us at +917899912611.

Dr. Parul Jain

Written by

Obstetrician
Gurgaon

Dr. Parul Jain is an infertility specialist and obstetrician for treatment of infertility issues and gynaecological problems. She is known for her empathetic approach towards her patients. After completing her MBBS from L.P.S Institute of Cardiology in 1992, she pursued MS in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Motilal Nehru Medical College in 2006. She is also a member of the Gurgaon Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (GOGS) and Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). Her competence and expertise in this field give her a success in all the issues related to infertility. She holds her expertise in Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Contraception, High-Risk Pregnancy Care, Antenatal Care and Infertility Treatments. Dr. Parul Jain is an expert in Intrauterine Insemination and is practising at Jain Maternity and Infertility Clinic and Cloudnine Hospital in Gurgaon. You can reach out for her contact details at elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:


1.  Assisted reproductive technologies (art) - art process, types, and risks of art  Assisted Reproductive Technology, Elawoman - 2018
2.  Embryo freezing - types of embryo cryopreservation and embryo thawing process  embryo cryopreservation, Elawoman - 2018
3.  Artificial insemination - types, cost, procedure, risks, success rates  artificial insemination procedure, Elawoman - 2017
4.  Anatomy of uterus, functions and uterine conditions in women and pregnancy  uterus, Elawoman - 2017

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Shardul Koushika

Dec. 21, 2018, 12:40 p.m. 4.5

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