Freezing of excess good quality embryos after IVF allows for the transfer of fewer embryos in the stimulated IVF cycle and, therefore, ensures fewer high-order (triplets or more) multiple births. This process provides patients with a "back-up" should the initial fresh embryo transfer not result in a pregnancy, at a much lower cost than starting IVF all over again and often with minimal medications. Frozen embryo transfers have allowed many of our patients to achieve more than one pregnancy from a single cycle of ovarian stimulation. Embryos can be frozen at any stage of development during the IVF process.
Eggs that are fertilized can be frozen as early as 1 day after an egg retrieval procedure, but it is more common to allow embryos to develop for a number of days before freezing them. This allows us to observe how well the embryos are developing so that we only end up with embryos in the freezer that we think have a good probability of establishing a pregnancy.
Embryos tolerate freezing very well and we expect over 90% of embryos to survive the process. Pregnancy rates with frozen/thawed embryos are as good as pregnancy rates for embryos that were transferred fresh without ever being frozen.
At Taiwan IVF Group, our fertility specialists utilize the most advanced technology available to offer patients the highest standard of care available. We are the premier fertility center in Taiwan, performing over one thousand in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures every year. Because a fair number of embryos are created during IVF in order to select only the highest quality, most viable embryos, there are "leftover" embryos after IVF and embryo transfer are completed. Over a third of our IVF patients have spare embryos that are suitable for cryopreservation (freezing).
The embryos are stored at our state-of-the-art lab, so they never leave the premises. When the patient decides the time is right, the embryo is thawed for (frozen) emryo transfer.
If fresh embryo transfers are not working, frozen embryo transfer may be the answer. Also, if you have a number of frozen embryos at the ready the next time you try to get pregnant, some or all of the remaining frozen embryos can now be thawed and transferred.
If you DID have a birth as a result of your fresh embryo transfer, and decide to expand your family by giving your child a new baby brother or sister, you're all set. Our fertility specialist simply takes the frozen embryos from our ART (assisted reproductive technologies) lab and "defrosts" them for implantation.
In either of the above cases, because you made the decision to freeze these extra embryos, you have saved time, money, and – most importantly – saved yourself the physical and emotional stress of doing the entire IVF cycle from scratch again.
No one knows what the maximum storage period might be. Procedures for human embryo freezing were developed in 1984 and only went into widespread use in the late 1980s. This means that the longest time a human embryo has been stored is 25-30 years and, typically, patients that have left embryos in storage for this long are not coming back for them. Some patients have come back after 10-12 years and the embryos have been thawed successfully and created healthy babies. Beyond this time frame, we don't know how long an embryo will remain viable, but it is possible that, kept in liquid nitrogen, an embryo may be viable.
Pregnancy success rates in patients receiving thawed embryo transfers at Taiwan IVF Group are consistently close to those using fresh embryo transfers. This is quite remarkable, considering it wasn't so long ago when worldwide pregnancy rates from thawed embryos were only about one percent!
Even after 20 years, there are few studies in the scientific and medical literature concerning outcomes after embryo cryopreservation. However, the few studies that have been published are thus far very reassuring. Children born from frozen embryos do not seem different from children born from embryos that had not been frozen. Even if an embryo loses some cells during thawing this does not cause any abnormalities. Freezing does not cause or introduce genetic abnormalities.
What are my options for using the embryos?
We hope that most couples will be able to use the embryos to have a healthy baby. Patients undergoing frozen embryo transfer make up about one fourth of the patients visiting our office. Some are thawing embryos after failing to become pregnant during their IVF cycle, and some are using the embryos a year or more after a successful IVF cycle, to have a second or third child.
At Taiwan IVF Group, quality assurance is of paramount importance. We use unambiguous, indelible identification techniques developed over many years of successful cryobanking of sperm, eggs, and embryos. Multiple cross-checks and system redundancies ensure that the possibility of an identification error is practically negligible.
Call Taiwan IVF Group at +886 36589090 and speak to one of our caring, helpful fertility consultants. They'll be happy to schedule a consultation for you and/or your partner with a dedicated Taiwan IVF Group fertility specialist, who will guide you through every step of the path toward parenthood. View our surgical facility specifically designed and equipped for fertility matters. Take a tour of our facility. Meet our doctors and staff. We believe you'll agree with thousands of patients who have become proud parents that Taiwan IVF Group is committed to be your fertility center. If you prefer, simply click here to contact us.