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Frozen Embryo Transfer

During an IVF cycle, the woman takes hormones that induce controlled ovarian stimulation in order to collect more than one oocytes.

The more oocytes are produced in the ovaries and collected by the IVF doctor, the more will be suitable to be fertilized with the husband’s sperm. Consequently, the more fertilized oocytes available, the higher the chances of having very good quality embryos to be transferred back to the uterus, achieving high implantation and pregnancy rates.

More on Frozen Embryo Transfer

However, what is a couple’s options if surplus embryos of good quality are available?

frozen_embryosCryopreservation of human embryos is currently available. Moreover, frozen-thawed embryo transfer is a very simple procedure compared to an IVF stimulated cycle because there is no need of gonadotropin administration or taking high hormone doses, avoiding in most cases even injections.

Embryo cryopreservation has become a routine procedure for IVF clinics. If a woman doesn’t conceive during her stimulated cycle and she has cryopreserved embryos available, then she can proceed with her treatment having a frozen-thawed embryo transfer.

Frozen-thawed embryos may be transferred to the uterus around the 18th day of the frozen-thawed cycle. In most cases, the clinical management of frozen embryo transfer cycles involves estrogen administration from day 1 of the cycle and then an estrogen-progesterone combination, taken orally, to achieve optimum endometrial thickness and quality.

The success rates of frozen embryo transfer are lower compared to “fresh” cycles. On the other hand, recent scientific studies say that frozen embryos could have higher success rates compared to fresh one.

It should be taken into account that some embryos may not survive the thawing procedure “shock”.