You have decided you want to pursue embryo adoption and have completed all the necessary steps. You have chosen an agency, filled out an application, completed the home study, have been matched with embryos, finalized the contract, and had the embryos shipped to the clinic! Here is my experience:
Now you are super excited to get to the fun part, right? The day of your long-awaited frozen embryo transfer (FET)! However, you may have to wait just a little bit longer before that special day.
Your clinic may require some preliminary tests before you are ready to begin preparation. Once you have been medically cleared, then you are ready to start the prep work!
First, you will typically begin birth control, followed by an ultrasound to make sure the lining of the uterus is thin and blood work to check hormone levels. Then, your reproductive endocrinologist will prescribe estrogen pills to build up the uterine lining, followed by another ultrasound and more blood work. (Some REs may even allow you to complete a natural cycle transfer with no birth control or medications. Talk with your clinic to see if this is a possibility for you!) REs have an “ideal” thickness that they like to see the uterine lining before they proceed with a FET, but don’t be discouraged if your lining is not within that range! Many women, including myself, have gone on to do transfers with a lining that was not considered optimal and had a successful pregnancy!
About five days before your scheduled FET, you will begin taking progesterone in oil injections each day. It is not the most fun, but so worth it once you see that positive pregnancy test! I would recommend warming the oil with a heating pad or rubbing it between your hands before you start. It also helps to sit on a heating pad for a few minutes before the injection, as this will help prevent lumps under the skin. Massaging the injection site immediately afterward can help prevent those lumps, too. Switching injection sides each day is recommended, so you do not get too sore on one side.
The day of the FET is really quite simple and easy compared to everything else leading up to it! You will come to the office with a full bladder (yes, really), get changed into a medical gown and hairnet, and the doctor will perform the FET using a small catheter. You get to watch the embryo get transferred right there on the ultrasound!
Your transfer is complete! Try to keep busy and focus on other things during the two-week wait for the pregnancy test. You will continue the progesterone in oil injections for those two weeks after your FET and continue them for several weeks after if you have a positive pregnancy test.
You have decided to give this embryo and the other embryos you may have adopted an opportunity to be born. Your chances of achieving a pregnancy are much higher than natural conception. Did you know natural conception is successful less than 25% of the time? A frozen embryo transfer conception is often successful over 50% of the time. So your chances of achieving a pregnancy through embryo adoption are not guaranteed, but optimistic! I'm hopeful for your success.
-An Embryo Adoptive Mama
For more information, please visit Snowflakes.org