In IVF or ICSI, some people have unused embryos. Some people choose to freeze them for use in later treatment cycles or to donate for use in others’ treatment, research purposes or training. The 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.
One may consider freezingembryos for thereasons such as, using the embryos in future IVF or ICSI cycles, treatment gets cancelled after egg collection, facing a medical treatment for a conditionthat might affectfertility. A written consent is necessary for embryo freezing from all the parties concerned, which carries all the terms and conditions pertaining to the embryo.
How to use my frozen embryos
- The exact procedure for usingfrozen embryos varies,depending onpersonal circumstances and the type of treatment offered by the clinic.
- The initial steps depend on whetherovulation is regular or not. Ifperiods are regular and the clinic offers treatment,doctor may suggest using a natural cycle. In such case, ultrasound scans may be used to check the eggs development and the thickness of the endometrium lining ofuterus. Urine or blood tests may be used to check the ovulation time
- If menstrual cycles aren’t regular, ordon’t have them at all,doctor may suggest to use drugs to suppressnatural cycle and trigger a ‘false’ period. 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.Uptothree embryos may be transferred using the embryo transfer procedure.
Due to the freezing and thawing process,chances of having a baby using a thawed frozen embryo are equal or slightly lower than fresh embryo. The 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.
Embryos can only be donated if the people who provided the sperm and eggs which were used to create the embryosgive their consentin writing. Onceconsent given,they may be used for three purposes one in another person’s fertility treatment, two for research and three for training