Some people think that planning and performing embryo transfer during a thawed embryo transfer is a piece of cake. Well - not really.
Ballarat IVF has very high pregnancy rates for the transfer of frozen embryos. This generates significant benefits, especially for couples who have had a number of previous attempts at pregnancy. Whilst we don’t necessarily like to share ALL of our secrets, our main focus is working hard on determining the time of embryo transfer, taking advantage of the narrow timing of endometrial receptivity. This is the brief period of time in which the endometrium is ready for implantation of the embryo.
In order for an embryo to implant and develop, the stage of development of the uterine lining must align with the age of the embryo.
This timing of development can vary between cycles, and certainly, between women.
If we look at the timing and synchrony of the development of the endometrium in relation to the age of embryos, it has been shown that, whilst most “luteal phases” are 14 days in length, 15 % are shorter, and 15% are longer. This raises the likelihood that the period of receptivity can vary between patients, and, in the same patient, between cycles. The lack of “synchrony“ between age of the embryo, and stage of development of the endometrium is likely to be a contributor to implantation failure of normal embryos.
Our approach, at Ballarat IVF, is carefully assess factors such as previous results, a women’s hormone levels, the thickness of the endometrium, and a visual impression of the endometrium on ultrasound, which is often performed by Russell, or a woman’s own fertility specialist.
Some times, we completely replace hormones in an artificial cycle, and alter the day of transfer. This detailed assessment, and careful planning with our fertility nurses ensures that we give our patients’ frozen embryos the very best chance to develop into a baby.
We know how hard women and couples work to get frozen embryos, so we do everything we can to avoid wasting them. Occasionally, we have patients requesting transfer of their frozen embryos to cheaper clinics, which are run by non-specialists with very little experience. We always worry about the woman and her embryos in that situation.