Embryos

You may choose to freeze embryos under these situations:

• You have leftover embryos after an embryo transfer cycle and would like to use these in a future cycle. This would save you from having to undergo another egg retrieval procedure.

• You are facing cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation, which could permanently damage your eggs.

• You are approaching menopause and won't be able to produce viable eggs in a few years.

• You would like to donate your embryos to other people looking to become pregnant.

When the frozen embryos are needed, they are typically thawed just prior to or on the day of the scheduled embryo transfer. The newly thawed embryos will be assessed for survival and development and only the healthy embryos will be transferred. Rates vary, but about 15 percent of the frozen embryos will be lost during the freeze-thaw process.

Embryo cryopreservation has revolutionized the IVF process and positively affected pregnancy rates. That's because it reduces the incidence of multiple pregnancy since a more reasonable and safer number of embryos will be transferred to your uterus and the remainder will be frozen. It also gives patients an additional chance to become pregnant without having to undergo another complete IVF cycle, which is expensive and time consuming and may be emotionally difficult.

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