Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Cycle

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A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is part of the IVF process. Embryos from a previous cycle are frozen and placed in the uterus for implantation. The process of FET has greatly improved over the years and we are now seeing high success rates using FET.

If you are undergoing FET it can feel daunting so we have put together some tips on how to prepare and key nutrients to include during your transfer.

When does transfer happen?

Your endometrium will be carefully monitored, once your endometrium reaches a certain thickness the embryo can be transferred. For some individuals, FET will be supported by hormones to mimic the body’s cycle and thicken your endometrium. For others, this will happen without hormonal injections and transfer will be determined when you ovulate naturally.

When does your endometrium thicken during your cycle?

During the second phase of the menstrual cycle, your body naturally produces progesterone, this progesterone helps the endometrial lining develop and thicken. A thick endometrium is vital for successful implantation.

During implantation, the embryo will attach itself to the endomtrium and starts to burrow. The embryo will start to receive oxygen and nutrients from the mother and grow and develop into a foetus.

How can we prepare for FET?

When thinking about fertility we are often thinking about how can we get our egg and sperm health in the best possible shape. However, when we are preparing for FET the embryo has already been created and our main goal is preparing the endometrium for implantation. This means supporting progesterone levels and a thick endometrial lining..

We have highlighted some key nutrients for FET. 

Supporting progesterone -

  • Vitamin C – low levels of vitamin C can be linked to low progesterone levels so increasing your levels can support progesterone levels.
  • Vitamin B6 – involved in making steroid hormones, including progesterone.
  • Zinc – is essential for the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles which leads to ovulation and raising progesterone levels.

Supporting endometrial thickness and receptivity -

  • Vitamin E – an antioxidant which has been demonstrated to increase endometrial thickness. Also works to improve blood flow and raise progesterone levels.
  • L-Arginine – an amino acid which, like Vitamin E can improve blood flow and raise progesterone levels as well as increasing endometrial thickness.
  • Fibre – higher fibre intake has been linked with an increase in pregnancy rates due to increasing endometrial thickness and receptivity
  • CoQ10 – has been demonstrated to increases endometrial thickness and improve pregnancy rates
  • Friendly bacteria – fertility specific bacteria have been shown to balance the endometrial microbiome which has been shown to improve pregnancy rates

Managing stress and anxiety

FET can be a stressful time, therefore it is important to do everything you can to reduce and manage this as much as possible.

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are researched to help support anxiety and depression. They are also anti-inflammatory which can support implantation.

Boost your feel-good hormones – play music, see friends and family, and laugh! Gentle movement like walking can also help but avoid high-intensity exercise, your body also needs to rest.

Manage blood sugar levels, whilst it can be a stressful time which can lead to cravings try and include plenty of high fibre complex carbohydrates which can help prevent blood sugar spikes and control your mood.

You may want a bath to help relax however, it is best to avoid hot baths as heat damage can damage the embryo so stick to showers until the pregnancy test. Try relaxing essential oils in the evening instead.

For those going through FET, we recommend taking our Frozen Embryo Transfer support pack which contains all the nutrients your body needs through this time, including your essential prenatal vitamins such as 400mg of folic acid in the active form folate.


Further reading

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