If you are familiar with the general IVF timeline, you know we do our very best to replicate the human body’s natural rhythm for fertility –> conception –> and implantation.
So, it might come as a surprise to you when we say that frozen embryos have higher success rates than fresh embryos when it comes to optimizing fertility rates.
Yes! Frozen Embryos Are Better Than Fresh for IVF
In the spirit of “keeping things natural,” you would assume the body would be more receptive to fresh embryos, conceived in sync with your cycle, and that have never been frozen and thawed. Instead, the research and data tell a different story.
Studies have been performed all around the world to compare whether freezing embryos impacts IVF chances and the answer is, “Yes; It improves them.” Of course, there will always be exceptions for some individuals.
When reviewing the results of a range of global studies, from numerous IVF clinics, researchers have found that patients who opt for frozen embryo transfers benefit in a number of ways, including:
- Decreased chances of miscarriage
- Increased chances of implantation
- Greater chances of delivering a healthy, full-term baby
- Healthier babies
- Decreased risk of premature labor
- Healthier mothers
Freezing Embryos Allows Time for the Body to Recalibrate
It’s no mystery that fertility medications, especially the injectable fertility medications used for IVF, take their toll on a woman’s body. Succinctly put, it is a reproductive hormone roller coaster. When the body goes through all that to produce dozens of eggs, it’s not necessarily in prime shape to then conceive and provide the nourishing environment the embryo needs to develop.
Thus, we believe it is the recuperation time between ovarian stimulation and the eventual transfer of a thawed, frozen embryo(s), that accounts for the differences in success rates. Hormones settle into their more natural balance, and that makes you more receptive when we sync embryo transfer with your uterus’s most receptive window.
Extra Recuperation Time Also Reduces Your Chances of OHSS
One of the risks of taking fertility medications is a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Studies have shown that a longer period of rest between stimulating the ovaries and transferring a viable embryo decreases a woman’s chances of developing OHSS.
Older Women Benefit from PGT and Frozen Embryos
While conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS are leading medical causes of female infertility in the U.S., one of the most common causes of infertility that is not an actual disease is advanced maternal age. Unfortunately, a woman’s eggs continue to rapidly decline in quality around 35 years old, and that means IVF rates also decline if a woman continues using her own eggs rather than a younger, donor egg.
The good news for women between the ages of 36- and 42-years is that studies have found the combination of using frozen embryos and pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) with chromosomal screening makes a significantly positive difference.
Embryologists have identified that women in this advanced age bracket who use preimplantation genetic testing and frozen embryos, and who experience successful implantation, have a 74.5% chance of giving birth to a healthy, full-term baby. Contrast that with the 53.7% percent of women who used successfully implanted fresh embryos.
That is a significant difference, illuminating a way to optimize IVF success rates for women who are 36-years and older.
About Lower Miscarriage Rates
There is nothing worse than surviving the two-week wait, getting the amazing news that you’re pregnant, and then realizing your miscarrying. It is devastating. However, reduced miscarriages are one of the benefits of using frozen embryos and PGT. Reviews of some studies found that miscarriage rates for fresh embryo transfers are about 18.5%, while women using frozen embryos miscarry only 2.8% of the time.
Using frozen embryos, rather than fresh, is one of the smartest choices you can make to give yourself and your baby the best chances of a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Interested in learning more information or to personalize your fertility treatment options with fertility specialists who prioritize our patients’ wellbeing?
Contact us here at the Northern California Fertility Medical Center. We look forward to welcoming you into our new, state-of-the-art facilities and introducing you to our incredible team.