When you decide to begin a frozen cycle, please contact our office and let us know. We will then review your records to ensure your pre-screening is up to date. If necessary, we will order any repeat screening tests. If appreciable time has passed since you last consulted with your doctor, we will schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor.
A FET cycle will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. A cycle typically begins with an injection Prostap on approximately day 21 of your cycle to suppress the normal ovarian cycle. After the course of Prostap you will have a bleed and you will need a baseline assessment involving bloodwork and ultrasound. Depending on the test results, your doctor may instruct you to begin daily tablets of estrogen to build the uterine lining. After a designated period of time on the estrogen tablets, you will return for a transvaginal ultrasound lining check. If the lining check demonstrates that your hormone levels are appropriate and your endometrial lining has thickened, your doctor will likely instruct you to add vaginal pessaries of progesterone to your medication regimen. Your nurse will then confirm an FET date and you will come in for your transfer several days later. Estrogen and progesterone continue after the transfer, and through to the blood pregnancy test about 2 weeks later.
The embryo transfer is a simple procedure that only takes about 5 minutes to complete. There is no anaesthesia or recovery time needed. When your nurse arranges your transfer, she will notify you and provide instructions on when to arrive and how to prepare. You need to have a full bladder for the procedure as a full bladder ensures good visualization of the lining of the uterus and proper placement of the embryos. It's important to drink the specific amount of liquid recommended 30 to 40 minutes ahead of time. You will review your cycle with the doctor and the number of embryos recommended for transfer. Upon entering your procedure room, the embryologist will again confirm your last name and the number of embryos for transfer. The embryologist will load the transfer catheter in the embryology lab with the embryo(s) and then the doctor will insert the catheter into the uterus and push the embryo through with a small amount of fluid. An external abdominal ultrasound provides visual guidance via a monitor to the doctor throughout the procedure. Once the doctor transfers the embryo, he or she will slowly remove the catheter. Since the embryo is invisible to the naked eye, the embryologist will then examine the catheter under a microscope in the lab to ensure that the catheter did indeed release the embryo. The nurse will give you instructions for the following 2 weeks until it's time for the pregnancy test.
Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you will perform a pregnancy test. This test is frequently called a "beta" because it measures the beta chain portion of the hCG hormone emitted by the developing embryo. We let you do this test in the privacy of your own home using a urinary pregnancy test and you then let us know the outcome so we can plan the next steps.