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The IVF Fertility Blog

How Ectopic Pregnancies are Being Reduced Using Frozen Embryo Transfer

Baby and Mother (6)According to Dr. John Zhang – as quoted in a professional press release – Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycles have an almost ZERO risk rate for an ectopic pregnancy. This is because a woman’s estrogen levels are much lower during a FET procedure than in a fresh IVF cycle. A FET reduces the risk of an ectopic pregnancy because less medication and stimulation are required than in a fresh cycle.

How an Ectopic Pregnancy Occurs

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterine cavity – typically within the Fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can also occur when a fertilized egg implants in the cervix or outside of the uterus. A woman’s life can be threatened by an ectopic pregnancy because internal bleeding occurs as the embryo thrives – leading to hemorrhaging.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Women who are at risk for an ectopic pregnancy during IVF can avoid complications by foregoing a fresh embryo transfer and electing to undergo future FET procedures when their estrogen level is reduced. Pregnancy success rates for a FET are higher than a fresh IVF transfer because a woman has the opportunity to wait until her uterine lining returns to an ideal state for embryo implantation.

Through FET, couples can repeatedly try to get pregnant using their cryopreserved embryos. If the FET cycle is successful, couples can undergo another procedure and plan their family through gender selection

  • Couples increase their chances for a healthy singleton pregnancy
  • Healthy pregnancies have been achieved after an embryo has been frozen for up to 10 years

Through world class laboratory technology, our pregnancy success rates through FET has increased substantially in recent years. That’s not all. Only high quality embryos are cryopreserve to be later transferred in future FET procedures. This success has made FETs an increasingly popular option to consider before considering a subsequent fresh IVF cycle. Bottom Line: With FET, couples can increase their chance of pregnancy per fresh egg retrieval and ultimately save money by avoiding the expense of another fresh IVF cycle.

FET Procedure

To begin the FET procedure, hormone medication is administered to suppress the woman’s pituitary gland and reduce the chances of unexpected ovulation. Estrogen acts to thicken and mature the uterine lining – like the natural estrogen produced by a developing egg follicle during a normal menstrual cycle.

During estrogen administration, monitoring of the uterine lining is required.

  • Transvaginal ultrasound for the doctor to evaluate the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Blood tests for the doctor to evaluate the level of estrogen in the blood

Double Benefit of FET: Monitoring for timing of transfer during a FET cycle is more flexible than in a fresh IVF cycle. The FET procedure is much less stressful on patients because the transfer date can be adjusted.

Progesterone is a medication administered in preparation for the FET to make the uterine lining receptive to the implantation of the embryo.

  • Progesterone matures the uterine lining
  • Progesterone creates a window of implantation in anticipation of a set FET date
  • Lupron injections are ceased upon the beginning of progesterone administration
  • Embryos are scheduled for thaw in the laboratory
  • FET is scheduled on a set date
  • Progesterone is continued daily to help prepare the patient’s uterine lining for implantation of the fertilized egg – the embryo
  • After the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is scheduled on a date prescribed by the doctor through a blood draw

Healthy pregnancies have been achieved after an embryo has been frozen for up to 10 years. Pregnancy success through FETs is determined by the quality of the frozen embryo.

Single Embryo Transfers

Dr. John Zhang promotes the practice of Single Embryo Transfer (SET) to reduce health risks associated with multiple pregnancies and births. Cryopreservation of surplus embryos for future FET procedures is encouraged by the fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility Center – in lieu of repeated, expensive fresh IVF cycles.

Pioneering Vitrification Method of Freezing Embryos

The flash-freezing technique of vitrification makes it possible to ready fresh embryos rapidly for cryopreservation. Using the vitrification method, embryos freeze quickly and damaging ice crystals do not form between cells. We are leaders in embryo cryopreservation. Dr. Zhang was one of the first doctors in the United States to implement the vitrification method of embryo freezing.

FET Expertise

It is important to work with a fertility care team having the experience to design a treatment plan meeting your personal needs. To schedule your initial consultation with one of the fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility Center – click the icon below or call 917.525.5496.

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