Embryo cryopreservation

Our program provides cryopreservation for blastocyst stage embryos. This is an option if there are excess embryos available beyond those that are chosen for the initial transfer. About 90 percent of embryos that are cryopreserved by this technique will survive the freezing and later warming process.

The incidence of genetic and fetal abnormalities does not appear to be any different for frozen compared with fresh embryos. In addition, some studies suggest that pregnancy rates and pregnancy outcomes from cryopreserved embryos may even be superior to fresh embryo transfer.

One big advantage of freezing embryos is the process of performing a frozen embryo transfer. A frozen embryo transfer is much easier and less expensive than doing a fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. We will discuss the advantages of fresh versus frozen transfers with you at your visit.

The standard frozen embryo transfer cycle promotes creation of the ideal cycle with estrogen and progesterone injections. The date of a frozen embryo transfer is determined weeks in advance.

Excess embryos

Sometimes couples complete their family before they have used all of the embryos resulting from the IVF process. If this is the case, you may choose to discard those embryos, donate the embryos to research, or donate the embryos to another infertile patient.

If none of these options seem feasible to you, we should discuss means of avoiding having excess embryos following your IVF treatment. We are able to adapt our IVF process to accommodate your beliefs.

Last reviewed: 
February 2018

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