Krishna IVF Clinic is a multilingual, state-of-the-art IVF Lab and Fertility Clinic that offers personalised care with latest technology needed to manage infertility & reproductive disorders.
In IVF or ICSI, some people have unused embryos after their first cycle. Some people choose to freeze them for use in later treatment cycles or to donate for use in others’ treatment, research purposes or training. Your chances of becoming pregnant with a thawed frozen embryo are not affected by the length of time the embryo has been stored. But not all embryos will survive freezing and eventual thawing when they come to be used. Very occasionally no embryos will survive.
Is embryo freezing and storage for me
You may consider freezing your embryos for the following reasons:
- It gives you the option of using the embryos in future IVF or ICSI cycles.
- If your treatment needs to be cancelled after egg collection (for example, if you have a bad reaction to fertility drugs), you may still be able to store your embryos for future use.
- If you have a condition, or are facing medical treatment for a condition, that might affect your fertility (embryo freezing is currently the most effective way for women to preserve their fertility).
For more information on preserving fertility if you have cancer see:
What happens when embryos are frozen : You and, if applicable, your partner will need to give written consent for your embryos to be stored. Embryos will be created through IVF or ICSI and those of suitable quality will be frozen.
How much control do I have over what happens to my embryos
Before the storage process begins, your clinic will ask you to sign consent forms. The forms allow you to specify:
- how long you want the embryos to be stored
- whether the embryos are to be used for your own treatment only, or whether they can be donated for someone else’s treatment, or used for research
- any other conditions you may have for the use of your embryos.
How to use my frozen embryos
- The exact procedure for using your frozen embryos varies, depending on your personal circumstances and the type of treatment your clinic offers.
- The initial steps depend on whether you are ovulating regularly. If your periods are regular and your clinic offers treatment every day, your doctor may suggest using a natural cycle. In this case, ultrasound scans may be used to check your developing eggs and the thickness of the endometrium lining of your uterus. Urine or blood tests may be used to check when you are ovulating (releasing an egg).
- If your periods aren’t regular, or you don’t have them at all, your doctor may suggest you use drugs to suppress your natural cycle and trigger a ‘false’ period. You are then given medication to help prepare the endometrium lining for an embryo.
- When the endometrium is at its most receptive, the clinic’s embryologist thaws the embryos. Up to three embryos may be transferred using the embryo transfer procedure.
Chances : Due to the freezing and thawing process, your chances of having a baby using a thawed frozen embryo are equal or slightly lower than fresh embryo. Your chances of becoming pregnant with a thawed frozen embryo are not affected by the length of time the embryo has been stored for.
- Not all embryos will survive freezing and eventual thawing when they come to be used. Very occasionally no embryos will survive.
- It is not uncommon for those embryos that do survive freezing and thawing to lose a cell or two. Ideally the embryos should continue to divide between thawing and transfer.
- As embryo transfer is involved in using frozen embryos, the same risks apply.
How are donated frozen embryos used : Your embryos can only be donated if the people who provided the sperm and eggs which were used to create the embryos – you, your partner (if you have one) and any donor(s) – give their consent to this in writing. Once you have given your consent, they may be used for three purposes:
In another person’s fertility treatment : If you donate your embryos to another person to be used in treatment, the same rules on donation apply as to donating sperm or eggs. You will both require to have further screening tests for cystic fibrosis, karyotype (chromosome analysis), cytomegalovirus, syphilis and gonorrhoea. In addition your blood groups will be checked.
For research: If you donate your embryos to research, they could be used in studies, such exploring IVF technology, or in stem cell studies.
For training : If you donate your embryos to training, they could be used by trainee embryologists in order to practice techniques such as freezing embryos and removing cells from embryos.