Suspend Success with Freeze All IVF
Waiting to get pregnant is difficult, but there are proven advantages to delaying IVF embryo transfer for a month or more to take advantage of a frozen embryo transfer, or FET. Dr. Jim Douglas delivers the very latest fertility treatment options, including a new protocol that employs cryopreservation with in vitro fertilization.
Freeze all IVF refers to the embryos that we collect after ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and fertilization in the lab. Dr. Douglas oversees the meticulous cryopreservation process that fast-freezes embryos in a method called vitrification. Five days after fertilization at the blastocyst stage, the embryos are washed in a cryoprotectant (anti-freeze type fluid) to protect them from the formation of ice crystals, and then plunged into liquid nitrogen.
We employ the latest specimen identification systems and cryopreservation storage equipment, and keep your embryos safe for future transfers. Once thawed, the embryos that we freeze have nearly identical quality when compared to “fresh” embryos. However the lining of the uterus (endometrium), is better than on the fresh egg collection cycle. This has led to a higher pregnancy rates than we were ever able to achieve with the traditional fresh IVF cycle.
The Benefits of Freeze All IVF
The newfound success of freeze all IVF is exciting news for several subsets of fertility patients, and Dr. Douglas will discuss the pros and cons for these situations:
A second chance at IVF: Couples who have a successful egg retrieval and fertilization process may have the option to freeze extra embryos for future cycles of IVF, either because the first attempt was not successful or they wish to add a sibling to the family. IVF cycles after embryo thaws are more affordable. They require fewer visits to the fertility center for sonograms and less medications because there is no ovarian stimulation and no egg retrieval required.
Eliminated risk of multiples: The time, expense and emotional toll of IVF sometimes leads couples to wish for a “one and done” experience. Dr. Douglas strictly adheres to guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and will usually transfer 1or 2 embryos to safeguard the health of mother and baby. With frozen embryo transfer, it is possible to transfer only one embryo at a time, with the expectation of future transfers if necessary.
Improved uterine conditions: Electing to freeze embryos benefits women prone to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Ovarian stimulation, the process of coaxing the ovaries with injectable gonadotropins to produce multiple eggs, is the mainstay of the IVF protocol. Any fertility center’s IVF success rates depend on the availability of multiple high quality eggs. Some women benefit from waiting until a subsequent cycle for the embryo transfer once their uterus has returned to a normal state.
Medical necessity after a cancer diagnosis: Freeze all IVF helps couples facing a cancer diagnosis. Fertility rescue prior to chemotherapy, pelvic surgery or a cancer treatment that may damage the reproductive system provides a safety net that enables couples to start their families once their lives are back on track.
Fertility preservation for couples who wish to delay a family: Deployment, career demands or personal situations may make having a family at the present time challenging or impossible. Freezing embryos provides couples with the flexibility to wait to start a family without the risk of diminished egg quality caused by maternal age.
Preparing for Embryo Transfer after Freeze All IVF
Dr. Douglas and the clinical care team at IVF Plano will outline the treatment regimen after your embryos are graded and frozen. When it’s time, the patient will return for a sonogram to assess the uterus, and leave with prescriptions and instructions for injections of progesterone and estrogen to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. We then schedule the frozen embryo transfer and anticipate the pregnancy test results.
Freeze all IVF provides a viable alternative to fresh embryo transfer, with nearly a 95 percent chance for a successful thaw with virtually no effect on the embryo’s quality.
Contact the innovators at IVF Plano to learn more about your options for overcoming infertility with the latest options in advance reproductive technologies.