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Assisted reproductive technologies (ART), #6 Embryo Freezing

By September 25, 2009No Comments

Embryo Freezing is very common as are frozen embryo transfers. Often times there are differences in success rates between a fresh transfer and a frozen transfer, however these are best discussed with your RE as statistics tend to change from clinic to clinic and can depend on the “freezing” technique.

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Embryo freezing

Cryopreservation, also known as “freezing,” involves storing embryos at a very low temperature so that they can be thawed and used later. Many fertility clinics now offer patients this option.

There are many reasons for using cryopreservation. It is often done when there are more embryos than are needed for a single (IVF) cycle. The extra embryos are saved and may be used during later cycles.

IVF success rates are generally lower with frozen embryos than with freshly fertilized embryos, although pregnancy rates with frozen embryos have been improving in recent years. The survival rate after thawing often depends on the quality of the embryos at the time of freezing.

Egg and ovarian tissue freezing are experimental techniques being investigated for fertility preservation for women. These techniques have the potential to be helpful for women with cancer, as chemotherapy and radiation treatment can often have a harmful effect on fertility. Egg and ovarian tissue freezing is still in the research stage at this time, and is not widely available at fertility clinics.

To learn more about cryopreservation and its potential uses, talk with your doctor or reproductive endocrinologist (RE).

Reference: Fertility LifeLinesTM

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