Fertility Specialists Experienced in Embryo Freezing
It has been nearly 30 years since the first child was born from a frozen then thawed human embryo, and today, this type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is common.
At Southern California Reproductive Center, our fertility specialists utilize the most advanced technology available to offer patients the highest standard of care available. We have become one of the leading fertility centers, performing hundreds of 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 embryo transfer.
Why consider freezing embryos?
If fresh embryo transfers are not working, frozen embryo transfer may be the answer. Also, if you have a number of frozen embryos available 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. Your SCRC 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.
How long can frozen embryos remain frozen and still be viable?
In theory, human embryos – frozen at anywhere from the “just-fertilized,” or zygote stage through the hatching blastocyst stage can remain frozen indefinitely. Once embryos have undergone the cryopreservation process (using cryo-vitrification), they are stored in secure containers under liquid nitrogen. Under these conditions (a temperature of -321°F), essentially no biological or physiological activity can occur until thawed. At one time, births from frozen embryos that had been stored for over 8 years made headlines, but today, births from embryos stored 10 years or longer are not even considered newsworthy.
Pregnancy success rates for frozen embryo transfer vs. fresh embryo transfer?
Pregnancy success rates in patients receiving thawed embryo transfers at SCRC 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!
Health Complications for Babies Born from Frozen Embryos
A recent study conducted by Dr. Sari Pelkonen of Finland concludes that babies born as a result of frozen embryo transfer actually have better health outcomes by several different measures as compared to babies born as a result of fresh embryo transfer.
Specifically, babies born from frozen embryos:
- Were less likely to be born prematurely
- Had higher birth weights
- Had a lower chance of being small for their gestational age
Freezing embryos as an infertility treatment offers you a great value for your money.
The technology used in freezing embryos significantly increases the likelihood of pregnancy per IVF cycle, making IVF by far the most successful and efficient form of assisted reproductive technology currently available to patients. Every couple facing fertility issues should read this for a more complete explanation of this sometimes-confusing topic.
How can I be sure I’m getting my frozen embryos and not someone else’s?
At SCRC, 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.
How do I take the next step toward building my family or finding out further information regarding my fertility concerns?
Call SCRC at (800) 600-9112 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 SCRC 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 SCRC is committed to be your fertility center. If you prefer, click here to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions