Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is a boon to couples who are struggling with infertility and fertility related problems. In the last decade FET has emerged as one of the choicest means for conceiving among women who are unable to conceive naturally. Moreover, the success rate of FET is almost equal to those from fresh embryo transfer cycles.
Females are born with a definite number of eggs in their ovary. From puberty onwards during each period (menstruation cycle) the number of egg diminishes and after the age of thirty five the count of eggs drastically falls which in turn risks the chances of unsuccessful pregnancy and enhances the possibility of miscarriage and other fertility related problems. However, with our modern socio-economic outlook to marriage, most couples are in their mid-30s when they decide to have a baby. But a women’s biological clock ticks according to nature’s own terms and so she faces the crucial challenge of struggling with getting pregnant owing to fewer number of healthy eggs in her ovary and other physiological obstacles barring her from conceiving. FET or Frozen Embryo Transfer comes across as the wonderful solution.
What is FET or Frozen Embryo Transfer?
By definition, FET is a cycle in IVF process (an Assisted Reproductive Technology procedure) in which frozen embryos (cryopreserved) are transferred to the uterus of women to initiate pregnancy. Usually, during an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cycle patients have additional embryos which they can opt to preserve (cryopreservation) for future. These thawed embryos or frozen embryos are used to initiate pregnancy again when the incumbent wishes to have another baby sometime in the future. Moreover, at times the IVF cycle may not be successful at one go. For them, the frozen embryos act as a backup and without going through the IVF procedure again, the thawed embryos produced during the previous IVF cycle are used again. Thus FET minimizes the effort of both the patient and the doctors as well as increases the possibility of pregnancy among older couples.
You might be wondering what FET has got to do with young couples? Well, honestly speaking, even if you are in your best fertile health right now it is inevitable that your fertility window will close after a certain age. And if you choose to have a big family as you go along the myriad shades of conjugal life, you may wish to have a new family member some years from now. What then?
That’s precisely the reason why nowadays even young couples choose to get their embryos frozen or cryopreserved. The FET cycle is the final step in the ART procedure where the frozen embryos are transferred to the women’s uterus under utmost medical expertise to initiate pregnancy. The trend has caught up with celebrities across the globe as well. When we hear of babies being born to celebrity couples well past their prime, in most cases, it’s IVF (powered by FET) at work!
If you have been advised by a reputed reproductive medicine specialist to go for an IVF, we would suggest you to ask for the option of getting the extra embryos produced during the ART procedure to be frozen (cryopreserved) so that you can enjoy the bliss of parenthood yet again (if you wish to).
Before you get yourself prepared for FET, you’ll have 1-3 months in hand. However, unlike the fresh IVF cycle, there isn’t much need to improve egg health prior to start of medications which would stimulate ovulation. Here’s a 3 Step guide we have prepared for you to get ready for Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).
- Boost Your Fertility With Nutritious Diet
You should start out with getting into a nutritious diet (fertility diet) as per the suggestion of your consultant reproductive medicine specialist. A whole food multivitamin coupled with an intake of minimum 800 mcg of folic acid everyday increases the chances of embryo implant and result in successful pregnancy. Make sure your diet has the requisite quantity of nutrients, good fats (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), whole grains, green and leafy veggies, organic (grass-fed) meat, fruits and clean water in plenty. Consult your dietician if in doubt.
- Fertility Cleansing for Healthy Pregnancy
The process involves detoxifying the body using the consumption and application of specific herbs which are known to be detox agents. Prior to pregnancy, a whole body detox cleanses the system and restores hormonal balance (if there were any imbalances previously) and further prepares the uterus for embryo implantation through FET cycle. The effects of fertility cleansing lasts for one whole menstrual cycle (almost 28 to 30 days). It is however important that fertility cleansing be completed prior to the beginning of medication leading up to FET. Consult your reproductive counselor for advice and guidance.
- Getting a Healthy Uterine Lining
Now, this might sound awkward to you, after all how would you ensure that your uterine lining is healthy enough to receive the embryo implant? No worries, there are ways!
- First, get enough iron in your system. Foods rich in iron should be consumed more. Iron build blood, yes that’s true! Iron rich foods like spinach, lentils, raw pumpkin seeds, beets, kelp, etc. should be consumed more at this time. It is a fact that women who are anemic (iron deficient) are more prone to miscarriages. The best way to fight this is through consumption of iron rich foods, otherwise called mega foods!
- Secondly, consume foods rich in L- Arginine. This nutrient stands out among all others when it comes to maintaining a healthy uterine lining. L- Arginine synthesizes Nitric Oxide, the one compound that increases blood flow to the genitals, uterus and uterine lining. So food rich in Nitric Oxide (NO) increases IVF success rate and FET as well
- Third, a periodic fertility massage by experts can help in strengthening the lining of the uterine cavity and reproductive organs by increasing blood circulation in the area. Ideally, fertility massage should start 3 months prior to FET and should be discontinued following the ART procedure
The above guide coupled with a watchful consultation and guidance of a reputed infertility specialist will help you achieve a successful pregnancy through Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle of the IVF process.
If you have found this guide helpful make sure to share the knowledge to help others in need. For more tips and guides on infertility and pregnancy, stay connected to The Genome Blog.