Embryo freezing helps many patients fulfill the dream of building a healthy family
Doctors at our Oklahoma fertility center often recommend patients take advantage of embryo freezing, as it can provide a range of benefits. Freezing embryos, instead of transferring a fresh embryo into a patient’s uterus, can provide a helpful interval between a patient’s egg retrieval and embryo transfer. The cryopreservation of embryos also allows patients with extra embryos to preserve them in case they decide to continue building their families in the future.
Embryologists freeze embryos using a safe process called vitrification. Vitrification involves flash-freezing the embryos with liquid nitrogen in a manner that prevents the formation of ice crystals.
There are many reasons to elect embryo freezing during an IVF cycle
Embryo freezing is becoming more commonplace during IVF cycles, as it’s been found to result in higher implantation and pregnancy rates than a fresh embryo transfer.
There are many reasons why the cryopreservation of embryos is beneficial to intended parents.
Flexible timing. Because labs can store embryos for an unlimited amount of time, freezing embryos gives patients flexibility in choosing when to use their embryos.
Hormone regulation. Following an egg retrieval, women typically have elevated levels of certain hormones that could impede embryo implantation. Cryopreservation of embryos allows a woman’s hormones to return to a healthy level before the embryo transfer.
Healthier uterine lining. Embryo freezing gives a woman’s uterine lining time to thicken between the egg retrieval and embryo transfer. A thick lining can increase the chance of the embryo successfully implanting.
PGT, or preimplantation genetic testing. Patients wanting to use PGT must freeze embryos, as it provides genetic specialists enough time to assess the chromosomal or genetic health of embryos.
Lower chance of an underweight baby. Studies suggest that a frozen embryo transfer creates a lower risk of a baby being underweight at birth than a fresh embryo transfer.
To help patients decide if cryopreservation of embryos is right for them, doctors at our Oklahoma fertility center thoroughly explain the process.
The last step after cryopreservation: Embryo transfer
When a woman is ready to use one of her frozen embryos, she prepares the lining of her uterus by taking estrogen for two weeks before the embryo transfer. After the uterine lining reaches an ideal thickness, the doctor tests the woman’s progesterone level to confirm she did not ovulate. A lab specialist then thaws the selected embryo, and the doctor transfers it into the woman’s uterus. The woman will then take a pregnancy test at our clinic about two weeks later.
The doctors at our Oklahoma fertility center work closely with patients to create a treatment plan that provides the best possible chance of developing a healthy pregnancy.
Contact us for more information about embryo cryopreservation.