Which Protocol is Best With a Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle?
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) pregnancy rates remain outstanding. While there are many protocols in use, two of the most common protocols are medicated protocols and natural cycle protocols. Which protocol is best with a frozen embryo transfer cycle?
Medicated vs. Natural Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycles
Medicated cycles typically require less monitoring than natural cycles. Medicated protocols utilize a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Natural cycles do not use estrogen (and may or may not use progesterone). For medicated FET cycles, the patient is not making any progesterone on her own so progesterone replacement is essential. The medical literature is clear that intramuscular progesterone is superior to vaginal progesterone for medicated FET cycles. For natural cycles, the patient is typically making her own progesterone, so supplemental progesterone may not be necessary.
Frozen Embryo Transfer Pregnancy Rates
The vast majority of the research on this subject suggests that pregnancy rates are comparable and excellent for both natural cycles and medicated cycles. Any individual’s response to a specific protocol is impossible to predict in advance. When deciding which protocol is best with a frozen embryo transfer cycle, know that some patients may respond better to a given protocol, but the majority of patients will respond well to both protocols.
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