FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

Frozen Embryo Transfer at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York

Patients undergoing ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization (IVF) have two options following their cycle: a fresh embryo transfer, which takes place after 5 days of embryo development, or a frozen embryo transfer (FET), which takes place at the patient’s convenience during the right time in the patient’s menstrual cycle.

A Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is a simple procedure in which a previously frozen embryo is thawed and inserted into the uterus using a catheter. Patients who choose to perform preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) must choose to undergo a frozen embryo transfer. The embryo is first biopsied for PGT, then frozen in the embryology laboratory while the embryo culture is sent to the PGT lab for testing.

Frozen Embryo Transfer is recommended for individuals or couples who:

  • Choose to undergo preimplantation genetic testing (PGT)
  • Have embryos available from previous IVF cycles and wish to use those embryos to expand their family
  • Want to take time between the ovarian stimulation phase of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle and attempting pregnancy
  • Are attempting pregnancy using previously frozen eggs
  • Who may be at risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

Frozen Embryo Transfer Frequently Asked Questions

  • When you are ready to attempt pregnancy, your doctor will track your menstrual cycle and schedule the frozen embryo transfer when your uterus is in the optimal phase to receive an embryo. In most cases, medication will be prescribed for 2-3 weeks ahead of transfer to prepare the uterine lining for implantation and may be continued for several weeks following transfer.

  • FET cycles are covered by some insurance carriers. Patients will meet with a member of our billing team to review their individual insurance coverage. For more information regarding insurance and pricing, please visit our Navigating Fertility Financing page.

  • Pregnancy can be detected nine (9) days after a FET. Patients will return to our office for a blood test to assess levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Rising hCG levels indicate that the embryo has successfully implanted in the uterus, resulting in a pregnancy. If the pregnancy test is negative, patients will discuss next steps in their care process with their physician.

  • Most patients compare the sensation of an FET to that of a pap smear, though some may experience some mild discomfort. Following transfer, patients are encouraged to maintain safe and healthy lifestyle practices in preparation for attempted pregnancy, but are typically allowed to resume normal activity upon leaving the office. Patients must continue to take all medications as instructed even after the FET has been performed. It is essential that patients continue to take their medications as directed for the duration of their care.

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