Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
Keeping dreams alive, your frozen embryo transfer journey starts here.
About Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
A frozen embryo transfer involves thawing a previously frozen embryo and implanting it into the uterus for a pregnancy. A patient may have frozen embryos after completing a previous IVF cycle. Many couples return to Markham Fertility Centre after having had a successful pregnancy and will proceed with frozen embryo transfer if they have extra embryos that were previously frozen.
There are a number of reasons why one might undergo a frozen embryo transfer such as :
You produced multiple embryos during a previous IVF cycle
You had embryos tested for genetic abnormalities (PGT) prior to implantation
You froze embryos as part of a fertility preservation cycle
Many people ask whether it is harmful to freeze embryos. Studies show that there are no harmful effects of freezing and that pregnancy rates using frozen embryos are similar or slightly superior to using fresh embryos. One benefit of freezing embryos is that it allows for genetic testing to identify genetic abnormalities that may prevent pregnancy or miscarriage. In this way, we can potentially shorten your time to pregnancy by selecting only the viable embryos. If you want to learn more about genetic testing of embryos, visit our genetics page.
Your FET Journey Begins Here
Completing a frozen embryo transfer is relatively straightforward, and less intense than an IVF cycle. The entire process takes about three weeks from start to finish, but your doctor will want to make sure you are cleared to proceed before starting. Here we outline some of the main steps:
Preparing for an FET
Prior to starting a Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle, your fertility doctor may want to meet with you to review the cycle and ensure you are ready to proceed. We may review hormone levels, update infectious disease screening, and perform an ultrasound exam to ensure your uterus is in good shape to receive an embryo.
Meeting your Care Team
Your dedicated care team will provide you with appropriate and timely instructions so that you feel in control of your FET cycle. If you are undergoing a medicated FET cycle, the nurse will explain how to administer medications. We encourage you to ask questions as they come up so that you always feel well-informed.
Day 1 - Starting your FET Cycle
On the first day of your menstrual cycle, you will report your "day 1" on the patient portal. Over the next 10-11 days, you will visit the clinic on several occasions where we will check hormone levels and the lining of your uterus. During this stage, your uterus is being prepared to accept an embryo.
Frozen Embryo Transfer Day (~Day 18 to 21)
Your embryo transfer will occur approximately 18-21 days after the start of your cycle and after we have verified the lining of your uterus is ready to receive the frozen embryo. The procedure lasts only 10 - 15 minutes and is performed in our procedure room using ultrasound to guide the placement of the embryo in your uterus. Over the next two weeks, you will continue progesterone medication to support implantation.
Pregnancy Test (14 days after Transfer)
We invite you to visit the clinic for a pregnancy test 14 days post-embryo transfer. We understand that awaiting pregnancy results can be challenging, so we offer strategies to help manage this waiting period - click here. If the test is positive, we will schedule an ultrasound exam to verify the pregnancy. Conversely, in the event of a negative result, we will meet with you to review your cycle and discuss the next steps.