A FET or frozen embryo transfer is the procedure whereby a frozen embryo from an earlier stimulation and fertilization is thawed and transferred into a woman’s uterus. A FET and can either be done as part of an IVF cycle or as a stand-alone procedure. Because you need to have frozen embryos to do a FET, most doing a FET have undergone an IVF cycle previously. Of course, it is also possible to do a FET from donor embryos.
In general CNY Fertility differentiates FETs into two major categories:
- FETs as part of an IVF cycle: Any FET done within 12 months of the egg retrieval from an IVF cycle. Typically this is done instead of a fresh embryo transfer or if the first transfer of an IVF failed and there are remaining embryos from that cycle available for another transfer.
- FET as a stand-alone procedure: Any FET done after 12 months from the egg retrieval of an IVF cycle or any FET done from donor embryos or embryos from an outside clinic. Typically this is done months after a successful pregnancy and delivery of a child or following an unsuccessful stimulated in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in which many, if not all of the embryos were frozen.
A FET generally requires much less testing and medications than a stimulated IVF cycle because you are only focusing on preparing your uterine lining to receive the embryos rather than stimulating your body to produce the eggs.
- Baseline: during your baseline, you will undergo a blood and ultrasound assessment.
- Uterine lining preparation: Depending on your baseline results, you may be instructed to take estrogen to help prepare your body for embryo implantation by thickening your uterine lining. During this time, we will routinely check your lining.
- Embryo Transfer: Once your endometrial lining has reached an appropriate thickness, a frozen embryo will be thawed and transferred to your uterus. The embryo transfer is a simple procedure that takes only a few minutes. No anesthesia or recovery time is needed. During the transfer, the embryos are “loaded,” into the tip of a catheter along with a very small amount of transfer medium. The physician, along with a member of the embryology team and a nurse will confirm the client’s identity to ensure the embryos are properly matched. The catheter is then gently passed through the cervical canal and into the uterus using an abdominal ultrasound to provide visual guidance during the transfer. The embryos are slowly expelled near the top of the uterus. After carefully removing the catheter, an embryologist will double check that the embryos indeed left the catheter using a microscope. At this time, a nurse will provide you instructions for the following “two week wait,” and when to come in for your beta pregnancy test.
For self-pay clients, we have two different rates for FETs depending on the timing of the transfer.
FETs as Part of an IVF Cycle
All FETs within a year of the IVF cycle that produced the frozen embryos cost $250.
FETs as a Stand Alone Procedure
All FETs after a year of the cycle that produced the frozen embryos or FETs from embryos created at another fertility center will cost $1900.