Frozen embryo transfer
What is a frozen embryo transfer?
A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a cycle where a frozen embryo from a previous fresh IVF cycle is thawed and transferred back into a woman's uterus. This means you won't have to undergo another cycle of hormone stimulation and an egg collection. Frozen embryo cycles can be undertaken on your natural cycle or using hormone preparation, or ovulation induction.
- Why do we freeze embryos?
Sometimes during an IVF cycle, we’ll be able to create more than one embryo. We’ll usually recommend transferring one, and freezing the others. This is due to the serious risks associated with multiple pregnancies if you transfer more than one embryo at a time.
- Benefits of a frozen embryo transfer
Embryo freezing gives you more opportunities for a pregnancy for each hormone stimulation cycle and egg collection. If you do not become pregnant from the first transfer from that cycle, we can transfer a frozen embryo during a frozen embryo transfer cycle.
This means you won’t have to undergo another hormone stimulation cycle and egg collection.
- Success rates with frozen embryos
The pregnancy success rate of frozen embryos is equal to the pregnancy success rate for fresh embryos. However individual factors can affect every patient’s prospect of success. Read more about IVF success rates…
- How much does a frozen embryo transfer cost?
When you decide to use your frozen embryos, a frozen embryo transfer cycle is eligible for a Medicare rebate and you can find the estimated out of pocket cost on our IVF treatment costs page. Please note there is also a cost to freeze and store your embryos.
- Where are the frozen embryos stored?
Any frozen embryos will be stored at an IVFAustralia facility, where they will be kept frozen in cryostorage until you decide to either use, donate or discard them.
- How are embryos frozen?
Embryos can be frozen from Day 2 (four cell stage) to Day 5 (Blastocyst). They are placed in thin plastic straws, sealed at both ends, and labelled with your name and identification number.
They then go into a freezing machine, where the temperature rapidly drops to -150° Celsius, a process called vitrification. The straws are then placed in goblets, and put into tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, which keeps the temperature at -196° Celsius.
- What to do with any remaining frozen embryos?
Once you feel that your family is complete, and you have no further personal use for your frozen embryos, you may decide to thaw them and let them regress naturally, donate them to scientific research or donate them to someone who is unable to conceive. Your specialist can discuss all your options with you. Find out more about embryo donation…
- Freezing embryos for fertility preservation
If you are undergoing fertility treatment for a serious illness or cancer you might consider freezing embryos for future pregnancy attempts. Find out more about fertility preservation....
Want more information?
To find out more about embryo freezing or frozen embryo transfers, please call 1800 111 483 or book an appointment with a fertility specialist.
Appointments are available within the next couple of weeks and will cost approximately $150 for a couple after the Medicare rebate.