Frozen Embryo Transfer
Frozen Embryo transfer (FET) is a process where frozen (thawed) embryos are collected from a donor female and later placed in the recipient female’s uterus to establish pregnancy. FET cycle, often used in connection with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), can be used in either humans or animals, with different situations in each case.
An FET cycle involves the transfer of a previously frozen embryo into the uterus of a woman who is infertile or unwilling to carry a pregnancy by natural means. The FET cycle is conducted by placing the embryo into a solution and rapidly freezing it in liquid nitrogen.
Being it the last stage of IVF process, embryo transfer is a critically important procedure. No matter how good an IVF laboratory culture environment is, a little negligence by a physician can ruin the entire process. IVF cycle depends on the appropriate placement of the embryos near the middle of the endometrium cavity-with minimal manipulation and trauma.
A physician should not overstate the importance of proper embryo transfer technique for a successful IVF process. Embryo transfer, guided by the Ultrasound, is believed to be the most efficient infertility solution available today.
What is an Embryo and why couples freeze embryo-
The embryo is generally a stage between the first and the eighth week of the fertilization process. After the eighth week, it’s called a fetus. Freezing embryos not only cut the infertility treatment’s cost, but also eliminates the question of going through an entire procedure of stimulating ovaries.
A couple, having high-quality embryos from a fresh or stimulated IVF cycle, can either freeze their embryos that can be used in the subsequent cycles or donate their embryos.
We owe a great deal to the early pioneers of biology who dedicated their time to research about the embryo and its concerned field. The 100 year-old science, initially performed on animals, is now used worldwide.
In the year 1890, a rabbit was impregnated by using an embryo transfer technique. Throughout the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, rabbits were extensively used as research models in embryology transfer.
Freezing embryos and their transfer is a critical process. Extra embryos that made it to the Blastocycst stage (day 5) but not transferred, are frozen with a process called vitrification.
An important part of this technique is the benefit of being able to freeze and transfer back fewer embryos compared to the traditional process “slow freeze”.
Prior to the embryo transfer in uterus, a female is stimulated with injectable medications and develop multiple eggs. The eggs then develop in follicles in the ovaries. This process is followed by the egg retrieval procedure, where pa hysician removes the eggs from the ovaries and sperm is added to the eggs. If the eggs are fertilized, appropriate number of embryos are transferred to the uterus several days later.
The transfer catheter, loaded with embryos, passes through the cervical, opening up to the middle of the uterine cavity. This process is mostly preferred under the guidance of an ultrasound that helps to watch the catheter tip.
The success rate of FET and fresh IVF are nearly similar and have the same indicators for success. Meanwhile the chances of success depends on various factors such as the patient’s age and the quality of the embryo. The patients can rely on this technique as the frozen embryos do not get aged. This success rate is expected to decline with the increasing age of a patient.
The embryo transfer procedure seems very similar to a Pap smear for the woman. During the embryo transfer process at Iswarya Infertility Center, patients do not have to go through sedation, pain, or medication. Our team of best-in-class physicians use reasonably full bladders for embryo transfer. This process can help in two important ways. First of all this process offers good ultrasound visualization of the catheter that further helps with smooth and proper transfer of the embryos to the best location, and it also makes this process smoother and less traumatic for the embryos by unfolding the (anteverted, “tipped up”) uterus to a more accommodating angle.
As soon as the catheter tip reaches the ideal location, embryos are transferred. An infertility specialist physician transfers them to the lining of the uterine cavity. After the process, catheter is slowly withdrawn and checked with a microscope for any retained embryo. In case an embryo is retained in the catheter, the physician repeats the procedure, and the catheter is checked again.
Benefits of FET at Iswarya-
Here at Iswarya, we use estrogen and progesterone to thicken the lining of their uterus rather than stimulation medication. Thickness of lining is mandatory for the embryo transfer to allow implantation. However, since the stimulation is performed in the prior cycle, no egg retrieval requirs anesthesia. Apart from these, other facilities provided at Iswarya are:
Pollution free environment.
High success rate.
All infertility solutions available under one roof.
Dedicated physicians capable of dealing with challenging situations.
Selected groups of surrogate participants and egg donors.
Updated protocols from time to time.
Before beginning with a treatment, every patient is tested for infections like Hepatitis B, C, HIV and other communicable diseases to ensure a healthy baby.
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