Thanks to advancements in medical science, technology, and clinician expertise, individuals facing infertility and other reproductive issues can get pregnant and experience the joy of parenthood with the help of assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The extensive IVF treatment necessitates commitment and adherence to your doctor’s recommendations. Your IVF doctor in Mumbai may inform you about techniques such as frozen embryo transfer (FET) to increase your chances of pregnancy through IVF.
FET involves thawing the frozen embryos from the previous IVF cycle and transferring them to the women’s uterus to achieve pregnancy.
Over the years, Saraogi IVF Centre in Mumbai has introduced several cutting-edge fertility treatments that have helped thousands of couples overcome infertility and have children. One such advanced fertility treatment the center offers is the frozen embryo transfer treatment in Mumbai.
If you need more than one cycle to become pregnant, frozen embryo transfers can improve your chances of becoming pregnant per egg retrieval while saving you time and money.
Due to increased success rates, frozen embryo transfer treatment in Mumbai has grown in popularity as a viable alternative to consider before beginning a fresh IVF cycle.
First, let’s learn,
How are Embryos Frozen?
- Developing an embryo in a frozen transfer is the same as in a fresh transfer.
- Initially, the doctor removes eggs from the woman’s ovaries. Further, these eggs are incubated with the male partner’s or donor’s sperm in an IVF lab to achieve fertilization and, ultimately, the formation of embryos. Then, the resulting embryos are allowed to mature for five to six days in the lab.
- Based on the woman’s condition and the IVF doctor’s recommendation, fresh embryo transfer can be done right away.
- After transferring the fresh embryos to the uterus, the left-over embryos can be cryopreserved if you want to. The frozen embryos can be transferred in the future if the earlier transfer fails to achieve pregnancy.
- The vitrification process, a quick flash-freezing technique, is used to freeze the embryos. During this procedure, the embryos are treated with cryoprotectants to protect them from the effects of the freezing and thawing process.
- Then, the embryos undergo a rapid freezing process. It prevents ice crystallization of water molecules present in the embryo. As a result, a glass-like structure is formed that can remain frozen for an indeterminate period.
Now that you know how embryos are frozen let’s discuss some important things about frozen embryo transfer before considering it.
1. Increasing the chances of pregnancy from one fresh IVF cycle
After transferring the resulting fresh embryos, patients have the choice to freeze the remaining good-quality blastocyst-stage embryos for use in later cycles, referred to as frozen embryo transfer or FET cycle.
2. Frozen embryo transfers are simpler to undergo than fresh transfers
Patients who undergo a frozen embryo transfer cycle can easily recognize the difference between the FET cycle and an earlier fresh IVF cycle.
Less time investment:
A FET cycle requires fewer appointments than a fresh IVF cycle because the ovaries are not stimulated to produce more eggs. In fact, a FET cycle often involves three appointments.
- Baseline Check – Your doctor may perform an intravaginal ultrasound at the initial appointment to examine the thickness of the uterine lining at the beginning of the cycle.
- Lining Check – The uterine lining is examined a few days before the planned transfer. The doctor will check for a thick, “fluffy” lining, which is ideal for embryo implantation and conception.
- Embryo Transfer – The frozen embryos will be thawed at the IVF lab on the day of the transfer. This is the same process a patient would go through with a fresh IVF or donor egg cycle, which doesn’t involve sedation or other drugs.
More predictable: The added advantage is that FETs are well-planned and rarely vary from the original procedure. Most changes occur during the stimulation phase of a fresh IVF cycle.
Timing in a FET cycle is predictable and effectively planned from beginning to end because ovarian stimulation is not needed.
Before the embryo transfer, the doctor prescribes medication, typically oestrogen and progesterone in oil, to help prepare and thicken the uterine lining. Throughout the cycle, the dosage of the medicine stays the same.
3. FET cycles cost lesser amount than a fresh IVF cycle
Cost is probably one of the best advantages of FET cycles. The cost of treatment is reduced by using frozen embryo transfers, a less invasive option. The fees for a FET cycle are about one-third that of a stimulated IVF cycle, and the cost of the medications is as little as 10%.
4. Frozen embryo transfers have success rates almost identical to those of a fresh IVF cycle
- The success rates of FET cycles have significantly increased in recent years thanks to developments in embryo freezing technology, particularly vitrification.
- Only high-quality blastocyst-stage embryos are chosen to freeze because neither patients nor doctors want unnecessary treatment, which has helped to increase success rates significantly.
- Pregnancy rates for FET cycles completed using the vitrification freezing technique are almost identical to those seen with a fresh IVF cycle.
5. Freezing every cycle might increase your chances of getting pregnant
- Several studies have shown a connection between higher hormone levels in a woman’s body, such as progesterone, and lower implantation and pregnancy rates.
- The best method for increasing the chances of pregnancy if hormone levels are higher than normally expected during a regular (unstimulated) menstrual cycle is to freeze the embryos produced and then transfer them after hormone levels have returned to normal.
- Your doctor might advise using this freeze-all strategy if your hormone levels are high at the end of an IVF cycle.
- Eggs will be collected, developed into embryos, and then frozen. The transfer typically takes place during the next month’s menstrual cycle.
- Patients ultimately decide whether to proceed with a fresh transfer or freeze all embryos after consulting their doctor.
6. Frozen embryos do not have an expiry date
- You can be sure that the embryos will stay as healthy as the day they were frozen, whether you wait a few months before starting the next cycle or a few years between having babies one and two.
- Patients can take as much time as necessary in between cycles thanks to vitrification, which suspends the time of frozen embryos and eggs.While eggs or embryos are vitrified, there is no aging, and they are thought to maintain their quality indefinitely.
- The success rate associated with frozen embryos when a woman is 35 will remain the same even if her transfer doesn’t take place for several years.
- It is an added benefit for patients waiting several years between their freeze and transfer. It is not advised that patients in their late 30s or 40s wait an excessive amount of time.
If the FET cycles are unsuccessful, patients must complete another stimulated procedure to obtain additional eggs. The eggs that have already been removed and frozen do not age, but the eggs that are still inside the ovaries and need to be removed do.
If you want to know whether FET is the best choice for you or have difficulties conceiving, you can consult our seasoned infertility specialists at Saraogi IVF Hospital, one of the best fertility centres in Mumbai, to avail the most-effective treatment to achieve your dream of becoming a parent.