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Frozen Embryo Replacement Cycle


Natural cycle

To enable us to determine the appropriate day for replacing frozen-thawed embryos we need to confirm that ovulation has occurred. It is ovulation that is responsible for making the lining of the uterus receptive to the embryos. Your IVF coordinator will guide you through the processes used by RMA to determine when the appropriate day is for embryo transfer.


Hormone replacement cycle

In hormone replacement cycles we mimic the hormonal changes occurring during a natural cycle. With oestrogen (Progynova) tablets and progesterone pessaries, it is possible to artificially create a suitable environment for the embryos. No blood tests are required in a hormone replacement cycle. Oestrogen tablets (Progynova) are taken from day 5 of your cycle. You will have an ultrasound on day 14 of your cycle. This ultrasound will be able to confirm that the lining of the uterus (ie. the endometrium) has developed sufficiently for an embryo transfer to take place. If the lining is not sufficiently developed, the dosage of Progynova will be increased and another ultrasound performed.


Policy on transfer, freezing and storing embryos

The maximum number of embryos that we will transfer in the first embryo transfer cycle for women under the age of 36 is one. This is in accordance with the guidelines of the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee. For frozen embryo replacement cycles we will discuss with you whether 2 embryos would be appropriate.


The advantages of cryopreservation of embryos are:

i) It allows an increase in the pregnancy rate while minimising the number of times the ovaries undergo stimulation
ii) It minimizes the number of hospital attendances for egg pick up procedures
iii) It may lessen the cost of achieving a pregnancy


The disadvantages of cryopreservation are:

i) If you become pregnant and still have embryos in storage, you will need to decide what to do with the embryos at a later date
ii) Legal problems may occur when embryos are in storage and death or divorce occurs. This is covered in our consent form for your guidance and you will need to predetermine the fate of your frozen embryos when you sign your consent.