Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
Freezing extra embryos increases the opportunity to achieve a pregnancy as a result of a single egg retrieval procedure. If a pregnancy does not occur in "fresh" IVF cycle, the patient can return at a later time for transfer of the remaining embryos. An ultrasound assessment of the uterine lining is performed before the embryos are thawed, to make sure an adequate uterine environment is present. Usually about 75% of the frozen embryos survive the thawing process, but it can vary depending on the stage at which the embryos are frozen.
After completing the transfer you will be repositioned very gently so your legs are together and slightly elevated. This position is recommended for a short period of time following transfer. It is important during this time that you remain relatively relaxed and comfortable. Usually you will remain at rest for 15 to 30 minutes after the transfer.
The lining of the uterus is uniquely designed to enhance the process of embryo implantation. Special secretions of nutrients and cell adhesion molecules assist the embryo in the process of continuing development, attaching to the uterine wall and burrowing the placental cells into the uterus. The embryos are now safely housed within the walls of the uterus. For better or worse, there is very little you can do at this point to affect the chances of successful implantation. Whether or not the embryo or embryos implant in the uterus is primarily dependent on the health of the embryo.
When you go home, be a couch potato for 6-8 hours after the transfer. Have a good book ready to read and move between bed, the bathroom, and the couch. If you have small children you avoid lifting them. After 8 hours, you may increase your activity, but don't do vigorous aerobics or running.
Your ovaries will still be full of fluid from the effects of the stimulation and you may feel some bloating or pelvic discomfort at this time. It is okay to take stairs slowly, and walk short distances, less than a half mile. Avoid any vaginal creams, lubricants, or spermicides. Take showers instead of tub baths, and don't go swimming. Avoid vaginal intercourse or orgasm for about a week after your transfer. If you have to travel, give yourself twice as much time as usual and minimize stress.