Advanced Freeze All Embryos Techniques Produce Better Results
Patients who choose the option to freeze all embryos from an IVF cycle have a better chance for successful pregnancy, thanks to advanced cryopreservation techniques that effectively preserve embryos and allow a woman’s hormones to return to normal before transfer. Freeze all embryos cycles also provide time for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A) to help select healthy, chromosomally normal embryos for transfer, or a different type of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-M) when a couple may be carriers of chronic disease genes.
Freeze All Embryos Vs. Fresh Transfer
In traditional in vitro fertilization, eggs are fertilized the day of the egg retrieval, and the resulting embryos grow in a laboratory for three to five days after retrieval. The best-quality embryos are then selected and transferred to the uterus.
But because of advances in both freezing technology and genetic testing, many IVF providers, including Ovation, are moving to freeze all embryos cycles, in which all high-quality embryos are frozen for transfer in a later cycle. In these freeze all embryos cycles, our experienced embryologists continue to culture all viable embryos. However, on Day 5, 6 or 7, embryos that reach an advanced stage of development (the “expanded blastocyst stage”) are frozen.
Genetic Screening and Freeze All Embryos Cycles
When the couple desires genetic screening through PGT, the blastocysts are first biopsied and then frozen. The embryo transfer then takes place a month or two after the retrieval, during a cycle in which the woman takes a combination of estrogen and progesterone to optimally prepare her uterine lining for implantation. Recent data suggest that babies born as a result of frozen embryo transfer (FET) may well be healthier than babies born following a fresh embryo transfer. Specifically, the data demonstrate that compared to babies conceived from a fresh transfer, babies conceived from FET are less likely to have low birth weight and less likely to experience significant illness or mortality during the first year of life.
Reducing or Eliminating Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
Ovation believes another advantage of freeze all embryos cycles is that they can dramatically lessen the patients’ risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a side effect of the high hormone levels caused by fertility medication during an IVF stimulation cycle. Even though severe hyperstimulation is rare, it can be serious. OHSS can cause symptoms such as abdominal swelling, nausea and bloating, or more concerning symptoms, such as shortness of breath, blood clots, abdominal pain, vomiting and dehydration.
Who Benefits from Freeze All Embryos Cycles?
Any patient is a candidate for a freeze all embryos cycle, especially in light of the recent data described above. Patients who should definitely consider freeze all embryos cycles include:
- Patients with a history of previous failed IVF or a cycle that was cancelled because of concerns about potential OHSS
- Patients who plan to store their embryos because of upcoming medical treatment, such as chemotherapy
- Patients who plan to have preimplantation genetic testing.
Your physician will help you decide whether a fresh transfer or a freeze all embryos cycle is best course for you. Ovation’s IVF laboratories and geneticists will then work with your physician to help you achieve a successful conception, a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful baby. Contact us for more information.