Embryo freezing can be an important component of fertility treatment. During in vitro fertilization, IVF, eggs are harvested via microsurgery and fertilized in a lab. It is common for multiple embryos to be created during this process.
When Should I Freeze Embryos?
Embryo freezing may be ideal under a number of circumstances and freezing surplus embryos provides a number of advantages:
- Storing embryos provides additional embryos to use during future cycles. This way, IVF can be done without the fertility medication needed to harvest a woman’s eggs. This significantly reduces the amount of stress, side effects, and discomfort that is commonly associated with IVF treatment.
- In the event an IVF cycle needs to be canceled, the embryos that were created can be stored until such time that a cycle can be attempted again.
- If a couple is facing cancer, or other medical treatment, freezing embryos is a way to preserve fertility and the ability to have a family in the future.
- Embryo freezing allows couples the ability to donate surplus embryos.
Process for Storing Embryos
The process of embryo freezing requires that you and your partner sign consent paperwork. This paperwork will indicate:
- How long the embryos are authorized to be stored
- How the embryos are to be handled if one or both partners die while the embryos are in storage
- If the embryos can be used for donation or research or are for the sole use by the couple
- Any other conditions or requirements the couple wishes to have for the embryos
The paperwork signed regarding the frozen embryos is legally binding. However, the consents can be changed in writing.
Survival Rate for Embryos
The freezing method plays a large role in the survival of embryos during the freezing and thawing process. With traditional freezing methods, embryos have a 55% survival rate. Traditionally, embryos were frozen using a slow dunk process which gradually cooled the embryos which could result in the formation of ice crystals. When the state of the art freezing method of vitrification is used, embryos have a survival rate of 98%. The use of a cryoprotectant and flash freezing eggs eliminates ice crystals.
For additional information on embryo freezing and the use of vitrification, contact the fertility experts at New Hope Fertility Center today. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 212-517-7676. Thank You.