If you have previously frozen your eggs here at Santa Monica Fertility Center and are thinking about getting pregnant, here are the steps of the IVF process with frozen eggs that you will go through. If you are planning to use frozen donor eggs, please explore our Using Frozen Donor Eggs; Benefits, Cost and Success Rates resource page.
Sperm collection (day of egg thawing)
We will need the sperm on the day of egg thawing. In order to optimize sperm quality, we recommended that the male partner abstains from ejaculation for two to five days prior to providing the specimen. If frozen sperm is used (intimate partner or donor), it should be delivered to the clinic prior to egg thawing.
Fertilization (day of egg thawing)
Sperm is injected directly into the egg (ICSI) to achieve fertilization. The eggs are checked the next day to determine which ones are fertilized. Fertilized eggs, now called embryos, will typically then grow in the laboratory for two more days prior to transfer to your uterus.
All of the remaining embryos can be frozen for transfer in the future.
Progesterone support (2-3 days prior to transfer)
The first progesterone suppository is placed in the vagina 2-3 days prior to the embryo transfer day. Patients then must use the suppositories three times a day until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, or if a second blood pregnancy test comes back negative.
Assisted hatching (day of transfer)
Assisted hatching is conducted in order to facilitate embryo hatching and implantation. This is accomplished by making a small hole in the outer shell of the embryo prior to embryo transfer.
Embryo transfer (one to three days after thawing)
The embryo transfer is a simple procedure performed by placing a soft catheter containing embryos through the cervix under ultrasound guidance. It does not require anesthesia, however, patients are given Valium to help relax the pelvic muscles. We will ask you to arrive thirty minutes prior to embryo transfer and you must remain in bed for 15-20 minutes following the transfer. Because of the medication, it is important that you arrange for a ride home.
Pregnancy testing (day 9 and 12 after embryo transfer)
To check if you are pregnant we will draw your blood on the morning of day 9 and day 12 following the transfer. We will contact you with the results later in that day.