Waiting on “Freeze All” IVF

by | July 17th, 2012

With IVF, every fertility test, hormone injection and sonogram leads to the big finish. The day when embryo meets mom. The Transfer. Dr. Jim Douglas with IVF Plano wants to give you reason to celebrate the results, and is sharing with patients news of a fertility study that suggests waiting a month or more before transferring the embryo(s).

“I know the idea of waiting even one more minute to get pregnant is extremely stressful for a couple trying to get pregnant,” says Dr. Douglas. “We’ve had great success with frozen embryos, so these latest findings are not surprising. I will always recommend the fertility protocol most likely to lead to conception. Even if it means waiting an extra month.”

The study, presented this month at a European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting, indicates IVF success rates 30 percent higher when fertility doctors cryopreserve, or freeze, all of the embryos from an IVF cycle for later transfer.

Fertility drugs that stimulate the ovaries and are instrumental in IVF success rates may also negatively impact endometrial receptivity or temporarily alter the endometrial DNA pattern. Researchers speculate that waiting a month to transfer the embryos will allow the uterus time to return to a more natural state.

A stimulated IVF cycle involves 5 stages:

1)    Suppressing the natural menstrual cycle.

2)    Stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple follicles, and eggs within those follicles.

3)    Retrieving the eggs.

4)    Fertilizing the egg with sperm in the IVF lab.

5)    Transferring the resulting embryo(s) back to the uterus.

A non-stimulated frozen embryo cycle may involve just 1 stage:

1)    Transferring the embryo(s) back to the uterus that has been prepared more like a natural cycle.

Another reason to wait on frozen embryo transfer

The author* of the study is confident in his findings, but cautions fertility clinics against making embryo transfer policy until the end of 2012, when all data can be confirmed.

Contact Dr. Douglas and the team at our Plano IVF center to learn more about the IVF process and the pros and cons of frozen embryo transfer.


*Professor Miguel Angel Checa from the Hospital Universitari del Mar in Barcelona, Spain.

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