Recent research set forth at the British Fertility Society last week suggests babies born from frozen embryo transfers (FET) may be healthier than those born from fresh embryo transfers during IVF treatments.
According the the study, conducted by the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health in London, babies born from frozen embryo transfers weighed an average of half a pound more than those babies born from fresh embryo transfers (source: BioNews). In addition, babies born from fresh embryo transfers were born an average of .65 weeks earlier than those conceived from frozen embryo transfers (source: The Huffington Post UK).
While there remains no clear link to frozen embryo transfers and higher birth weight, Suzanne Cawood, who led the study, suggests the difference may be due to the state of the uterine environment during a frozen embryo transfer, which is less stimulated than that of a woman receiving a fresh embryo transfer. Fresh embryo transfers are conducted close to the time the eggs are retrieved, which means the embryo is being put into an environment that has been hyperstimulated to produce multiple viable eggs during the IVF process. Frozen embryos, on the other hand, have been cryopreserved for an amount of time and enter the woman's uterus in a more natural state.
While more research will be needed to understand the major advantages of frozen embryo transfers versus fresh embryo transfers, the application of FET indeed supports the growing trend in single embryo transfers. In an effort to reduce the complications that arise with multiple pregnancies and premature births, FET offers another way to reduce the risks associated with premature births and lower birth weights, which we at New Hope are all for. Healthier babies mean happier families.
You can read more info on frozen embryo transfers here and more on our freezing process, vitrification, here.