Fresh Embryo Transfer

Definition - What does Fresh Embryo Transfer mean?

A fresh embryo transfer is the transfer of a newly formed embryo during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle into a uterus without prior freezing of the embryo. A fresh embryo transfer does not needing rigorous hormonal treatment to prepare the uterus for implantation.

FertilitySmarts explains Fresh Embryo Transfer

During IVF, eggs are retrieved and fertilized outside the body by sperm from a male partner or a donor. The fertilized eggs are then placed in a specialized environment to develop into embryos and as the final step, one or a more of the most promising embryos are put transferred back to a uterus with the hopes of implantation and developing as a normal pregnancy.

There are two main types of embryo transfers in IVF. The newly formed embryo can be transferred soon after fertilization, typically on day 3 or day 5. Alternatively, the embryos can be frozen through a process known as cryopreservation where they can be preserved until a transfer is desired.

For fresh embryo transfer to be effective, the woman should be in a condition that is favorable for pregnancy at the time of egg retrieval. If there are any conditions that may impact a successful transfer, any resulting embryos are typically frozen for later use. Treatment with estrogen and progesterone hormones to prepare the inner lining of the uterus for implantation is not typically needed with fresh embryo transfer.

According to more recent evidence, for most women, there is no significant difference in pregnancy rate and other outcomes of pregnancy (eg; live births, miscarriage) between fresh and frozen embryo transfer.

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