08 Apr Frozen Embryos Result in as many Live Births as In Vitro Fertilization
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that frozen embryo transfer to the uterus, where the egg is already fertilized by sperm, results in just as many live births as in vitro fertilization (IVF). The study was performed using around 800 women with fertility-related issues.
During a routine in vitro fertilization cycle, fresh embryos are implanted into the woman’s uterus once an egg has been successfully fertilized with her partner’s or donor’s sperm. In some cases, women may choose to have their embryos frozen and stored, for numerous reasons, and these may be implanted at a later stage.
Reasons for wanting to freeze the embryos may include:
- Being able to transfer the embryos to the uterus when the uterine environment is at its most conducive for implantation. A situation such as a premature rise in progesterone levels may reduce the rate of implantation of the embryo on the uterus and by freezing the said embryos one reduces the risk of implantation failure.
- In vitro fertilization of a fresh embryo may lead to a serious complication such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). One way to prevent this condition is by freezing the embryos and then transferring them to the uterus at a later stage when things have settled down.
- Frozen embryos can also be screened for any genetic abnormalities and those that are not flawed will be chosen for implantation as this helps to avoid the development of any congenital abnormalities in the fetus.
- Women who are diagnosed with certain cancers that will need chemotherapy and radiation therapy involving the reproductive tract may consider freezing their eggs or embryos until they have completed their treatment. This is done to avoid damaging the ovaries which may produce abnormal eggs that may not be able to become fertilized or can result in congenital abnormalities.
Results of the Clinical Study
The women who participated in the study were given one cycle of IVF. One group was implanted with fresh embryos and the other group received thawed out embryos after having taken infertility medications.
The results were as follows:
- Ongoing pregnancy occurred in 35 percent of women who received the fresh embryos and in 36 percent of women who received the frozen then thawed out embryos.
- The rate of live births in the fresh embryo group was 32 percent and in the frozen embryo group 34 percent.
The results, therefore, in this study demonstrate that the ongoing pregnancy and live birth rate involving the use of frozen embryos is not only comparable to that of fresh embryos but that they are also slightly better.
Pacific Reproductive Center
Pacific Reproductive Center specializes in all types of fertility treatments for couples and women who are trying to conceive. The clinic specializes in frozen embryo transfers and couples and individual females who are struggling to become pregnant can consider this therapy by discussing it with their specialist physicians to determine if this treatment is ideal for them.