Freezing embryos is also commonly employed as a method of fertility preservation where the female patient is likely to undergo other medical procedures that could damage their fertility.
Why should I consider freezing embryos?
WFI routinely freezes embryos and the methods that we use (known as vitrification) often results in outcomes that are nearly as good as having a fresh embryo transfer.
You might want to freeze your embryos if:
- You’re having IVF treatment and have some good quality embryos left after transfer
- You’re having IVF treatment, but we’ve advised against a fresh transfer at that time if, for example, you're at risk of developing OHSS
- You’re about to have another medical procedure such as chemo or radiotherapy and want to preserve your fertility
- You're not ready to start a family at the moment but want to preserve your fertility.
We may not be able to tell you how many embryos will be suitable for freezing before you start your cycle but WFIs staff will be with you every step of the way to support and guide you through the process
What does embryo freezing involve?
You will start with a cycle of IVF (using either your partners or donor sperm) and once we know the quality of the embryos that have developed we will be able to talk to you about their quality and whether we think there are any that are suitable for freezing. If there are and you'd like us to store them for you we will freeze them individually in heat-sealed straws and store them in our secure cryobank.
When you’re ready to use your embryos, in what we call a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle, we will take one of your embryos from the cryobank and carefully warm it. If it survives ( our survival rates are better than 85%), we will then transfer it you your uterus in the same way as we would for a fresh cycle of IVF.