Cryopreservation for Embryos, Eggs and Sperm
A successful embryo cryopreservation program such as the one at Innovative Fertility Center, where the pregnancy rate for frozen embryo transfers approaches that of fresh transfers, offers several important clinical applications.
Information about Frozen Embryo IVF Cycles
1) It allows for the freezing and storage of supernumery (extra) embryos from ART cycles. This enables us to replace fewer fresh embryos thus decreasing the multiple birth rate while at the same time allowing for the preservation of any “extra” embryos which can be frozen and stored to be replaced at a later date. This increases the success rate per stimulated cycle and also enables the patient to undergo one or more frozen-thaw cycles before needing to face the added expense of a stimulated cycle again.
2) At Innovative Fertility, when a patient’s endometrial lining is substandard, we feel comfortable because of the high success rate achieved in our frozen-thaw cycles, to recommend embryo freezing with transfer in a subsequent cycle when an optimal endometrial pattern is achieved.
3) The success of our embryo cryopreservation program has allowed us to continue our work with embryo accumulation cycles. As we have previously reported, this treatment is offered to couples who do not grow many eggs in a given stimulation cycle such as some patients in their late 30′s or early 40′s. This also enables us to treat couples who cannot undergo stimulated cycles such as certain cancer patients. The patient’s egg is harvested after undergoing a natural cycle and the resulting embryo is frozen. After several such natural cycles enough frozen embryos will have been accumulated to undertake a frozen-thaw cycle. We continue to be encouraged with the results of this treatment approach and it has allowed us to offer realistic pregnancy potential for patients with resistant ovaries and for those who cannot take fertility medications.
4) Innovative Fertilities successful frozen embryo program is of paramount importance to ensuring the continued success and improvement of our Third Party Reproductive Program. Egg and embryo donation is highly dependent on the ability to preserve the “extra” embryos obtained from these cycles and at a later date to successfully thaw and transfer them. The convenience factor plus the cost savings afforded by Innovative Fertilities quality cryopreservation program in addition to the augmented success rates of the original egg donation cycles enables us to maintain our Third Party Reproductive Program in the forefront of this technology.
Some programs have reported that frozen embryos that were obtained from a prior successful ART cycle are more likely to result in a pregnancy in a thaw cycle. However, it is interesting to note that at Innovative Fertility Center in approximately half of the pregnancies established by frozen embryo transfer procedures, the mother did not establish a pregnancy at the time of the transfer of the fresh embryos. Furthermore, a fairly high number of women who had stored only a single frozen embryo, subsequently produced a healthy child after a frozen embryo transfer cycle.
Many patients may not be aware of the cost benefits associated with frozen embryo transfer cycles. Innovative Fertility would like to advise couples who still have embryos in cryostorage that a frozen embryo transfer cycle is a relatively inexpensive treatment being about half to a third of the cost of a regular IVF cycle.
The preparation for such a cycle is essentially non-invasive. The female may use either a spontaneous natural cycle (without medications) or be prescribed some estrogen and then progesterone in preparation for the embryo transfer. Invariably, the transfer of these thawed embryos is done without anesthesia on an outpatient basis, in the office by the transcervical approach.