Timeline for IVF with Frozen Embryo Transfer

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In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a widely used assisted reproductive technology that involves fertilising an egg outside the body and then transferring it to the uterus. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is an integral part of this process, allowing embryos to be cryopreserved for future use.

FET offers numerous benefits, including better flexibility in timing, reduced stress on the body, and often higher success rates compared to fresh embryo transfers. Potentially because of this, average IVF pregnancy and birth rates using frozen embryo transfers increased over the past 30 years.

Preparation Stage

Initial Consultations

The IVF process begins with initial consultations. During these appointments, you will undergo fertility assessments to determine the best course of action. Expect to discuss your medical history, undergo physical exams, and possibly have some preliminary tests like blood work and ultrasound scans.

Hormonal Treatments

Hormonal treatments are critical in preparing your body for embryo transfer. These medications help regulate your menstrual cycle, stimulate egg production, and prepare the uterine lining for implantation. Common medications include gonadotropins, which stimulate the ovaries, and progesterone, which supports the uterine lining.

Additional Ways You Can Prepare for FET

There are several ways you can prepare your body for FET across your diet, nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset:

Diet and Nutrition

Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can optimise your body for pregnancy. Focus on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, nuts, and leafy greens, can help improve egg quality and overall reproductive health. Consider taking prenatal vitamins and supplements like folic acid, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, but always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

Nutrition for FET


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial when preparing for FET. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health, but avoid high-intensity workouts that might be too strenuous. Aim for moderate activities like walking, swimming, or yoga. Additionally, avoid smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and manage your caffeine intake to support your fertility.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Your mental and emotional state can significantly impact your fertility journey. Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help you stay calm and focused. Visualisations are a great way of preparing emotionally. Why not try our Zita West Ultimate IVF Visualisation, a comprehensive set of visualisations supports you throughout your IVF journey?

To learn more about preparing for frozen embryo transfer, tap here.

Embryo Freezing Process

Criteria for Embryo Selection

Embryos are carefully assessed and selected for freezing based on their quality and viability. Factors like cell division rate and morphology play a crucial role in determining which embryos have the best chances of resulting in a successful pregnancy.

Freezing Techniques

The embryo freezing process, known as vitrification, involves rapidly cooling the embryos to prevent ice crystal formation. Vitrification is preferred due to its high success rates in preserving embryo viability and quality.

Egg freezing process

Thawing and Transfer

Thawing Procedures

When you're ready for the embryo transfer, the frozen embryos are carefully thawed. The thawing process must be done with precision to ensure the embryos remain viable. Once thawed, the embryos are prepared for transfer.

Transfer Techniques and Timing

Timing the embryo transfer is crucial for optimising implantation. The transfer is typically timed to coincide with the optimal phase of the uterine lining. The procedure involves placing the embryos into the uterus using a thin catheter, a process guided by ultrasound to ensure accuracy.

After Transfer

Post-Transfer Symptoms and Signs

After the transfer, you might experience symptoms such as mild cramping or spotting. These can be normal reactions, but it's important to distinguish them from signs of complications. Symptoms like severe pain or heavy bleeding should prompt immediate medical attention.

We recommend trying to relax as much as possible during this time. This means stopping exercise, eating well and managing stress and anxiety as best you can. Our Fertility Nutritionist Isabelle, delves into this in greater detail in a free webinar you can access here.


Setting yourself up for IVF success


Follow-up Care and Tests

Follow-up care is essential after the embryo transfer. You'll have blood tests to measure hormone levels and confirm pregnancy. Early ultrasounds will monitor the development of the pregnancy and ensure everything is progressing as expected.

Understanding the timeline for IVF with Frozen Embryo Transfer is vital for anyone embarking on this fertility journey. Each step, from preparation to post-transfer care, is designed to optimise your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. Consult with fertility specialists to receive personalised advice and determine the best approach for your unique situation.

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