Spare embryos from your IVF treatment can be frozen for future use, depending on their quality. Frozen cycles are necessary for those wishing to use their previously stored embryos.
Patients take medication to go through the process of down-regulation. This temporarily shuts down your ovaries and prevents any eggs from being released. You will have a scan on day two or three of your period and start taking medication to prepare your womb for the embryo transfer. A second ultrasound scan at day eight or nine will be performed to check the thickness of your endometrium. Once it is of the appropriate thickness we can start the embryo thawing process and book your transfer.
Embryos are thawed in the laboratory and assessed as to whether they have fully survived the thawing process. Our embryology team will inform you of how well your embryos have survived and if they are of good enough quality for your transfer to take place. Very occasionally embryos do not survive the thawing process. If this is the case, you will be offered a follow-up appointment with one of our consultants to discuss the results and further options.
Hopefully the embryos will then be ready to transfer the same as in a fresh cycle. Our frozen cycle success rates have been improving year on year and are now almost as high as our fresh cycle rates.
Although most embryos survive the freeze-thaw process, some may not survive.
Frozen embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C. This means they are held in a suspended state and do not deteriorate with time in storage.
Our aim is to give you the best chance possible of pregnancy with each frozen embryo replacement cycle. Not all embryos have the same potential to form a pregnancy, and each one is affected differently by the freeze and thaw process.
Yes. We routinely that embryos and then biopsy and re-freeze these embryos so that we can perform PGS (pre-implantation genetic screening) on the cells taken for biopsy. Your embryos remain at the clinic during this time. We have had many successful pregnancies using this approach however it is ideal to biopsy all the embryos in a fresh cycle.