Dear friends, in an in vitro fertilization procedure the oocytes which are extracted, fertilized and develop well can either be transferred to the uterus of the woman (the so-called fresh embryo transfer – usually on Day 3 or 5 after the puncture) or frozen and transferred in a subsequent cycle (frozen embryo transfer).
In an embryo transfer procedure (fresh or frozen), 1 to 3 embryos are returned to the uterus. The number of embryos to be returned depends on many factors like the age of the woman and the quality of the embryos and is decided by the treating physician together with the patient(s). If a patient has more good quality embryos than those returned in the fresh embryo transfer, those embryos usually go for freezing. They can be warmed and transferred in subsequent cycle(s) in case the patient does not become pregnant from the fresh transfer or wants to become pregnant again. The frozen embryo transfer gives the patient the opportunity to become pregnant without going through every step of the IVF process once again, which saves a lot of time and money.
The procedure of embryo vitrification has been perfected to such an extent than pregnancy rate from frozen embryo transfers is the same as pregnancy rate from fresh transfers.
Do not despair if you do not get pregnant from the fresh embryo transfer! If you have frozen embryos, use them!