Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

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Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)


Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Spare embryos from your IVF treatment may have been frozen for future use. Embryos are stored removing the fluid from inside the cells before freezing them in liquid nitrogen. Your embyros can be stored for up to ten years for future treatment if you're first cycle was unsuccessful or for siblings. Freezing is complex and you should bear in mind that success rates can be reduced when you use frozen embryos.

Natural cycle

A frozen embryo transfer cycle can be either stimulated or unstimulated. During an unstimulated (natural) cycle, the embryo(s) are replaced at the corresponding time in the cycle depending on the stage of embryo development.  

Stimulated cycle

With a stimulated cycle, you will need to take medication to go through the process of down-regulation. This temporarily shuts down the ovaries and prevents any eggs from being released.  You will have a scan on day two or three of your period and start taking medication. A second ultrasound scan is performed approximately eight to nine days after you start medication to check the thickness of your endometrium. Once it is of the appropriate thickness we can start the embryo thawing process and book your transfer.

Embryo thawing

Our embryology team will inform you of how well your embryos have survived the thawing process and if the embryos are of good enough quality for your transfer to take place. Sometimes embryos do not survive the thawing process. In these cases we can book you a review appointment with our specialist to discuss your options going forward.

Embryo transfer

The embryo transfer is similar to a smear text. It may cause some minimal discomfort. The culture medium containing one or two embryos is loaded into a thin catheter with a syringe on the end. The doctor carefully guides the catheter through the vagina and cervix, and deposits the embryo(s) into the uterus.Implantation begins three to four days later.


IVF & Frozen Embryo Transfer information sheet

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