Embryo Cryopreservation involves the freezing of embryos created by IVF or ICSI. Your physician may recommend freezing embryos for several reasons. You may have extra embryos to save in case you are not pregnant or for an additional pregnancy attempt in the future. Not every woman will have extra embryos to freeze. You may also undergo IVF and have too large of a response (ovarian hyperstimulation) and your physician may recommend against placing embryos back in right away and that you instead freeze the embryos and place them at a later, safer time.
Embryos may stay frozen for a long time. Although not every frozen embryo will thaw properly at a later time, success rates are extremely high. If you freeze your embryos, it is important that you discuss with your physician how those embryos will be used in the future and how long you anticipate keeping them frozen.
Microscopic Image of 8- cell Embryo 3 days after Egg Retrieval for Freezing
Example of Blastocyst Embryo for Freezing
Only recently has the technology needed to freeze eggs (as opposed to embryos) improved to make this a viable option. It may be a reasonable option for many women but it is not a good option for every woman. It is usually preferable to freeze embryos rather than eggs if that option exists. Egg freezing is no longer considered experimental but so far many more babies have been born from frozen embryos than from frozen eggs.
Women may choose to freeze their eggs for a variety of reasons. These may include a plan to delay childbearing for personal reasons, no current partner, and fertility preservation in anticipation of medical treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. When considering this option, it is important to understand that the best future chance of pregnancy with frozen eggs results when you freeze your eggs at an earlier age.
In general, it is preferable to freeze eggs when a women is younger, especially less than 35 years of age. If you are interested or in need of freezing eggs, please call our office for an appointment.