Frozen Embryo Transfer | Dr. Hakan Özörnek

Frozen Embryo Transfer

What is embryo freezing?

It is the selection of suitable embryos from the fertilization of the ovum with sperm in the laboratory, and freezing and storing them in special tanks containing liquid nitrogen (nitrogen) at -196 degree. Sometimes it is necessary to freeze all embryos (total freezing-cryo), sometimes after selecting and transferring suitable embryos, the remaining quality embryos are frozen.

In which cases is total cryo applied?

  • If the patient has a risk of excessive ovarian stimulation (OHSS) during IVF treatment,
  • If the intrauterine membrane is not thick enough to be transferred,
  • If hormone levels (especially progesterone) are high,
  • If a space-occupying lesion such as polyps or fibroids is detected in the uterus,
  • If embryos are to be genetically screened,
  • If embryos are collected with the pool process, embryo transfer is not performed, suitable embryos are frozen and stored.

What are the differences between the embryo frozen on day 3 and the embryo frozen on day 5?

The day 5 embryo is the embryo that has been tested for a longer time and whose development has been observed more. Higher pregnancy rates are provided in frozen embryo transfer cycles, especially by choosing those that can go to the blastocyst while deciding to freeze the embryos left over from the transfer. If the embryo has not reached the blastocyst stage on the 5th day, it can be followed up to the 6th or even 7th day and frozen on these days.

When is frozen embryo transfer done?

The reason why the embryo is frozen also determines when the frozen embryo transfer will be made. While it can be done after 1-2 times in the patients with OHSS risk, it can be planned 4 months after myoma surgery. It is appropriate that doctor determines this according to the patient's condition.

What are the differences between frozen embryo transfer and fresh embryo transfer?

In IVF centers with experienced laboratories, the chance of survival of frozen embryos after thawing is 95-98%, and the chance of pregnancy is equal to fresh embryo transfer. If necessary, patients should not avoid embryo freezing, and should not worry that the chance of pregnancy will decrease or the child will be unhealthy. Freezing the high quality embryos after the transfer also gives a new treatment chance, that is, the chance of a child.

What should be done in the preparation process before the transfer?

The process of preparing the intrauterine membrane begins on the 2nd-5th day of menstruation. Your doctor can thicken the intrauterine membrane with pills. In the patients who do not have ovulation disorders, transfer can be planned at the appropriate time by monitoring their ovum development. The drugs given should be used at regular times without skipping any day, and if the drug is forgotten or if bleeding occurs during the treatment process, this situation should be told to the doctor as the intrauterine membrane will be affected. When the intrauterine membrane reaches a certain thickness, the transfer day is planned by adding progesterone hormone. The transfer is usually done congested (when your bladder is full).

How many days after menstruation is the transfer done?

Depending on the thickening of the intrauterine membrane, Embryo transfer is usually done between the 15th-20th days of menstruation.

Will there be inguinal pain after embryo transfer?

In the frozen embryo transfer treatment, there is usually no pain because the ovaries are not stimulated.

Which drugs are used after the transfer?

Estrogen, progesterone drugs and vitamins used while preparing the intrauterine membrane are continued until the pregnancy test after the transfer. Serum treatments, drugs related to the immune system, and blood thinners are used in the patients deemed necessary by the doctor. Each patient's treatment is different.

Is there a ban on sexual intercourse after the transfer?

We do not recommend sexual intercourse to our patients after the transfer. However, there are also studies showing that the relationship does not have a negative effect. You should follow your doctor's recommendations.

Is there a difference in terms of pregnancy calculation?

Since we start the treatment during the menstrual period, the gestational age is calculated from the 1st day of the menstrual period, it is no different from normal pregnancy. But if the intrauterine membrane thickens late and the cycle is prolonged, it is necessary to correct the date of birth according to the transfer day.

Can a frozen embryo be genetically tested?

After the frozen embryo is thawed and biopsied for genetic testing, it can be frozen and stored again until the result is available.

How to thaw frozen embryo?

Embryos frozen at -196 degrees are removed from the liquid nitrogen tank and thawed at room temperature. It is kept in a special liquid to monitor whether it has lost cells and the living embryo is transferred.

What is the chance of pregnancy?

The chance of pregnancy of an embryo with appropriate quality that is frozen and continues to live after thawing is not different from a fresh embryo. The age of the woman, the cause of infertility, whether genetic diagnosis was made, and on which day the embryo was frozen affect the chance of pregnancy.

What should I pay attention to after embryo transfer?

After leaving the clinic after the transfer, you can rest for 2-3 days and continue your normal life. Even if you have bleeding, you should not stop taking your medications without consulting your doctor. You should have a blood pregnancy test 12 days after the transfer.

For how many years can embryos be frozen?

Legally, embryos can be frozen for 5 years. You must apply to the IVF center where you freeze your embryos once a year and give an annual extension approval. After 5 years, extension can be made with the approval of the patient and the Ministry of Health. Freezing time does not adversely affect embryo quality.

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