What is a frozen embryo transfer (FET)?

A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is when an embryo created from a previous in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle or donor egg cycle is thawed and transferred into the uterus with the goal to achieve a pregnancy.

Frozen Embryo Transfer

When to consider FET

You may want to consider it in any of the following situations:


  • Additional embryos from IVF cycle
  • After PGT cycle
  • After a medically necessary freeze all IVF cycle
  • After proactive fertility preservation

What are the steps involved?

If you are interested in FET, first talk about it with your primary care provider. They can refer you to Mount Sinai Fertility.

Cycle Monitoring

Embryo Thaw

On the morning of the embryo transfer procedure, your fertility care team will select an embryo for transfer and the embryology team will thaw the embryo..

Embryo Transfer

During the embryo transfer procedure, a physician will place an instrument called a speculum in the vagina so they can see the cervix. We will use an ultrasound placed on your abdomen to see the uterus. The physician will place a thin catheter through the cervix into the uterus. The embryo will be placed into the uterus using an even thinner catheter that fits through the first one. The procedure takes about 5 - 15 minutes. It is not painful, although there may be slight discomfort and does not require pain medication.

Pregnancy Test

You will do a beta-hCG blood test to determine if you are pregnant approximately 1.5 weeks after your embryo transfer. We will make an appointment for you or provide you with a requisition if you would like to do the blood work at an outside lab.

What happens if the pregnancy test is positive?
If your pregnancy blood test is positive, you will be asked to repeat the test 2-3 days later to measure for appropriate rise of the pregnancy hormone. If the second pregnancy blood test has risen appropriately, you will be scheduled for an early obstetrical ultrasound around 7 weeks of pregnancy, then referred for obstetrical care.

What happens is the pregnancy test is negative?
If your pregnancy test is negative, you may be able to proceed into another cycle or it may be recommended that you follow up with your fertility care team to determine the best next steps in your fertility journey.