When choosing between fresh and frozen embryos, it’s important to know the facts. Although fresh embryos are typically considered healthier and have a higher success rate than frozen embryos, there are some benefits to freezing your eggs.
Whether you choose fresh or frozen will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences, so be sure to weigh all your options before making an informed decision.
What Is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure that combines your egg and sperm in a laboratory. IVF is used to help people who can’t conceive naturally or have certain medical conditions that prevent them from having children.
It’s also used to help couples with infertility problems and yet want to become pregnant with their eggs and sperm instead of using donor eggs or sperm. When this laboratory fertilization takes place, doctors have a method of preserving the embryo, especially if they fertilize more than one egg. They do this by freezing the embryos.
Why is the freezing of embryos utilized in IVF?
There are several reasons why the freezing of embryos is utilized in IVF. These include:
Preserving embryos for later use.
This can be helpful if your partner needs a surgical procedure or if there are other factors that would make conceiving difficult or impossible at that time.
Increasing embryo availability by freezing additional embryos.
If you have decided to do more than one cycle of IVF, then you may want to consider freezing additional embryos so that they can be transferred later on in subsequent cycles.
There is evidence that frozen transfers tend to result in higher implantation rates than fresh transfers.
Increasing transfer number and thus improving success rates through multiple births.
If you are interested in having multiple children and have the financial resources to support them, then IVF can be a great option for you. Taking advantage of the ability to transfer more than one embryo at a time can help increase your chances of having twins or triplets.
Decreasing time spent in the clinic during treatment.
IVF treatments often take a long time to complete, especially if multiple procedures are involved. By freezing some of your embryos, you can reduce the amount of time that you need to spend in the clinic and save yourself the stress of having to come back on multiple occasions.
Decreasing time spent at the lab getting tested for genetic defects
In addition to the time spent in the clinic, IVF treatments often require extensive testing at a lab. This can be quite expensive and time-consuming, especially if your family has a history of genetic issues that need to be tested for. If you’re concerned about these things and want to avoid them as much as possible, then freezing your embryos can help you out.
Why Would You Choose Frozen Embryos?
There are several advantages to using frozen embryos. One of the primary advantages is that you can use your own eggs and sperm, rather than using donor eggs or sperm.
Another advantage is that you will be able to have more than one child with a single round of IVF if you choose to freeze the embryo.
This may be important if you want to experience pregnancy again and want your children to be close in age.
Frozen embryos allow for more control over the quality of both eggs and sperm used in IVF treatment.
Additionally, there is evidence that frozen embryos are less likely than fresh ones (those created within hours) to result in birth defects such as Down syndrome. However, studies vary on this point
Advantages of Frozen Embryos
- Frozen embryos are more likely to result in a pregnancy
- They have fewer genetic defects
- The age of the woman does not affect the success rate of frozen embryos as much as it does with fresh embryos
- Frozen embryos can be used at a later date if needed
Disadvantages of Frozen Embryos
Even though frozen embryos are the best choice for many couples, it has its set of challenges. The disadvantages of frozen embryos include:
- More expensive. Frozen embryo storage is more costly than storing fresh embryos, which can help to drive down the overall cost of IVF.
- Lower success rate. A recent study found that only 31% of frozen embryo transfers resulted in a successful pregnancy, compared with 50% of fresh embryo transfers
- Less viable after thawing, so may not result in successful pregnancy even if they do get implanted.
- Have a higher risk for birth defects as compared to fresh embryos. This may be due to differences between the fertilized egg and its surrounding cells and fluid at the time of freezing vs thawing
Which Embryos Should You Choose?
The decision to use fresh or frozen embryos is a personal one, and should not be taken lightly. Think about your age, health, and fertility when making this choice.
When considering IVF with fresh versus frozen embryonic options, consider how their respective success rates compare against each other and whether they meet your family goals.
Would you prefer fewer but higher-quality blastocysts? Or would more but slightly lower-quality blastocysts be more desirable?
Researching these factors will help guide your decision about what type of embryo is right for you.
When deciding whether fresh or frozen embryos are better for you, consider all the factors
As you weigh your options, keep in mind that there are many factors to consider. It’s important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of each option, as well as what’s most likely to work for you personally.
Frozen embryos can be a good option if:
- You are not ready to have a baby or already have children.
- You want the flexibility of having multiple attempts at pregnancy in a short period of time
- Your partner is younger than 35 years old and has not had any infertility problems.
Fresh embryos may be better if:
- Your partner is older than 35 or has had previous infertility issues.
- You want to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies.
- You want to get pregnant as soon as possible.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the difference between fresh and frozen embryos. It’s important to remember that both options have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you which one is best for your situation.
If you want a more natural experience, then fresh embryos are probably worth considering. However, if you want to maximize your chances of success, and potentially save money, then freezing may be better suited for your needs.