Examining the Benefits of Frozen Embryo Transfer.

Not having a fresh transfer was a surprise for me. I was looking forward to getting it all done in a short(er) amount of time. The nurses reassured me that this was the best choice for my circumstances, it was a “blessing in disguise”. Of course I planned on doing a FET eventually, but I was hoping that would be a year or so after my successful fresh transfer! I hadn’t researched much about FET prior to starting IVF because I just assumed it wouldn’t be happening any time soon.

Seven days after starting stimulation, I was told I was at risk for OHSS and my progesterone was too high to support a pregnancy, so a fresh transfer was out of the question. I also had to use a Lupron trigger vs. the normal HCG trigger. This was decided on a saturday of a holiday weekend. I ended up having to drive 160 miles and pay $300 for a vial of Lupron.

I am grateful that the doctors were wise enough to tailor my meds/treatment to my specific responses and I am feeling strongly that this will greatly improve my outcome of a successful transfer (and eventual live birth!)

Naturally I had some reservations and questions about Frozen embryo transfers and I had decided to go straight to the source for ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. when you google FET you come up with really basic information and is not specific to any one particular woman. “Fertility and Sterility” is the leading source for PEER REVIEWED research articles. So I  searched their archives for “Frozen embryo transfer” and only clicked through one page (there is 11 page of pure gold research!)

Disclaimer: Keep in mind I am not a doctor, nothing I say should be mistaken as medical advice. The quotes/articles I chose to read were based on my own personal questions and is not relevant to all ages/diagnosis.

Will My High Progesterone During Stims affect my FET?: (No)

Elevated P levels on the day of trigger during the initial fresh cycle were negatively associated with live birth in the fresh transfer cycles but not in subsequent FET cycles. Freezing embryos and performing a subsequent FET cycle ameliorates the effect of elevated P on live-birth rates.(Source)

Does Having a Lupron Trigger Effect If I can Have a Successful FET In The Immediate Following Cycle? (No)

There were no statistically significant differences between hCG and GnRHa triggers with respect to timing of FET. After GnRHa trigger, patients can be reassured that rates of pregnancy with FET are high and do not warrant delay. (Source)

Since It’s a FET Should I Increase To 2 Embryos? (No)

Similar ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates can be maintained while reducing the occurrence of multiple gestations with eSET [elected single embryo transfer] compared to eDET [elected double embryo transfer] in FET cycles. (Source)

I Want To Have An Unmedicated FET, What Is More Successful? (No significant Difference)

No statistically significant difference in clinical pregnancy, live birth, or miscarriage rate was seen. [when comparing natural cycle FET to Medicated cycle FET] There was no difference in clinical pregnancy rate or live birth rate when accounting for donor or PGS status. (SourceThis info only applies to women less than 35 years old.

I’m not sure If I have Endometriosis, Does It Negatively Effect Outcomes Of FET?

Among frozen cycles, pregnancy outcomes were comparable between women with and without endometriosis. The frequency of live birth and clinical pregnancy showed a higher trend in the endometriosis cohort without reaching the threshold for statistical significance. This is in contrast to previous studies, which have shown that women with endometriosis may have worse pregnancy outcomes during fresh embryo transfer. These results suggest that women with endometriosis may benefit from the low levels of hormonal exposure in a frozen embryo transfer setting. (Source)

What is more successful FET or Fresh Cycles? (similar live birth rates)

[ In ovulatory women] Compared with fresh embryo transfer, frozen embryo transfer offered a similar rate of live birth with reduced risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and second-trimester pregnancy loss. ( Source )

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this blog, I am currently waiting for my appointment to come through to have the FET. It was a shock to me when they decided that I had to wait for the FET, similar as yourself I had early onset OHSS, fluid in my ovaries and abdomen. I never even thought about a frozen transfer. Its been about 4 weeks since my egg collection so I’m hopeful I don’t have to wait much longer. Worst part of all of this is that it is beyond my control!!


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