Dominion Fertility adopted a “freeze all” embryos approach for stimulated IVF. This approach optimizes successful outcomes while reducing complications.
Why No Fresh Embryo Transfers?
There are two major reasons that we have adopted the universal freeze all policy for our Stimulated IVF program:
Reason#1: It’s safer for you and better for your pregnancy.
One of the most vexing problems with stimulated cycle IVF has been the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). Freezing all the embryos from an IVF cycle and performing a frozen embryo transfer (FET) at a later date can reduce the risk and severity of OHSS.
In addition, several studies have shown that performing an embryo transfer in a stimulated cycle can lead to an increase in pregnancy related complications such as first and third trimester bleeding. During a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle your hormone levels are more ideal leading to a better outcome for you and your baby.
Reason #2: Most patients choose Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
PGS allows us to determine which embryos are genetically normal so we can maximize pregnancy rates with elective single embryo transfer and decrease the risk of miscarriage. However, PGS results are not available for about a week following the biopsy of the blastocyst stage embryo necessitating freezing of all embryos following biopsy.
Frozen Embryo Transfer is a Good Option for Many Patients
As you can see, a frozen embryo transfer can be a good option for many patients. In most respects, it is a lot simpler than a fresh IVF cycle because you don’t have to undergo egg retrieval and there is a minimal number of hormone injections.
The Two Types of FET: Natural Cycle FET and Medicated FET
There are two types of frozen embryo transfer cycles: Natural Cycle FET and Medicated FET. Regardless of which option you choose, the success rates of the two options are similar, and your Dominion Fertility physician will help you determine which approach is best for your particular circumstance.
Natural Cycle FET
If you have regular periods, you may not need estrogen medications to prepare for an FET. If you choose the option of a Natural Cycle FET, you will be monitored periodically (using blood work and sonograms) during the first half of your cycle. When you have a follicle that is ready to ovulate and if your endometrial lining looks good, then a trigger injection (HCG) will be given to induce ovulation allowing us to time the embryo transfer. The transfer will occur one week after the HCG injection. Since an egg is released following the HCG shot it is important that you avoid conceiving with that egg if your situation does not preclude natural conception!
Medicated FET Cycles
Some women benefit from taking medications to prime the endometrium for an embryo transfer. Additionally, a medicated FET cycle offers more control for patients who require advanced planning for the timing of the transfer. If you choose this option, you would begin estrogen medications just after the beginning of your menses. As we do for a Natural Cycle FET, you will be monitored periodically (using blood work and sonograms). When hormone levels are optimal and the endometrium is ready, then we start progesterone and the transfer is performed about a week later as planned.
Freezing the Embryos Doesn’t Affect the chance of Pregnancy
At Dominion Fertility, we are proud that our success rates with frozen embryos are outstanding. We take excellent care of your frozen embryos and the chance of an embryo failing to survive the thawing process is very small.
You Can Use Frozen Embryos From a Different Clinic
If you have embryos stored at another fertility clinic and wish to become a patient at Dominion Fertility, we are happy to help facilitate the transfer of these embryos to our center.