A Frozen Embryo Transfer is a cycle in which frozen embryos from a previous IVF or donor egg cycle are thawed and then transferred into a woman’s uterus.
A frozen embryo transfer may be done for a number of reasons:
Medically Advised Due to Uterine Receptivity: During an IVF cycle, a woman is in a state of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, which adds a good deal of physiological stress to the woman’s body. In some cases, the woman’s body is unable to simultaneously prepare a beautiful “home” for the embryos to be transferred. If the woman has ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or has elevated progesterone or estrogen levels or has a lining under 7mm at the time of trigger, it may be advised to do a “freeze all cycle,” followed by a FET. This allows the intended mother to wait until the uterus/endometrium is more receptive and implantation more likely.
A Second Embryo Transfer: In a conventional IVF cycle, it is common for 10-15 eggs to be produced through controlled hyperstimulation and result in a number of high-quality embryos available for transfer. Today’s standard practice is to transfer one (sometimes two) embryo into the woman’s uterus and freeze all remaining embryos to increase the chance of future pregnancy (should the couple want to continue expanding their family after giving birth or if the first transfer fails).
Easier to plan: Because there are times when it is medically advised to convert a fresh cycle to a freeze all cycle with an FET, many, particularly travel clients, find it much easier to plan in advance for a frozen transfer as they are rarely ever canceled, can be easily planned, and offer comparable success rates as a fresh transfer.