Embryo Cryopreservation Can Improve Your Chances of Becoming Pregnant
During in vitro fertilization (IVF), many sperm cells are combined with a number of eggs outside the body, and multiple embryos may develop. One or more embryos are then transferred to the mother's uterus in order to establish pregnancy. After IVF, embryo cryopreservation, a process of freezing and preserving the non-transferred embryos, can make non-transferred embryos viable for use in the future. With embryo cryopreservation, if you decide to undergo IVF again, you can do so without having to undergo another egg retrieval surgery. To learn more about embryo cryopreservation performed at our New Orleans practice, contact our office today.
The Embryo Cryopreservation Process
IVF labs currently use two processes to preserve embryos: slow freezing and vitrification, or ultra-rapid freezing. Vitrification has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its many benefits, including a lower risk of damage to the cells.
Embryos can be frozen at any point from the single-cell (pronuclear) stage to the blastocyst stage, which occurs five to seven days after fertilization. Before they are frozen, the embryos are combined with a cryoprotectant solution to lower their freezing point. This step is essential to prevent the formation of ice crystals inside the cells, which can cause them to become damaged.
Frozen embryos are very resilient, and can safely remain frozen for long periods of time. In fact, as many as two-thirds of embryos are able to withstand the freezing and thawing process. In some cases, embryos that have been frozen for as long as 20 years have been used to help couples successfully start and grow their families.
Why Freeze Your Embryos?
Although IVF is a safe and fairly simple procedure, one of the major risks associated with this fertility treatment is multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies place the health of both the mother and fetuses at risk. Our doctors typically recommend transferring no more than two embryos per IVF treatment.
Common reasons women choose to freeze leftover embryos include giving themselves the option to undergo IVF again in the future if IVF cycles using fresh embryos fail, and being able to undergo additional IVF cycles in the future without the need for egg retrieval surgery. In other instances, women decide to donate their frozen embryos to other couples experiencing fertility challenges.
Learn More about the Procedure during a Consultation
We take great pride in helping hopeful parents realize their dreams of conception. Over the years, we have helped to make more than 14,000 pregnancies possible. Starting and growing a family is a deeply personal decision. Thanks to advanced procedures such as embryo cryopreservation, hopeful parents have more options than ever before when it comes to fertility treatment.
Our compassionate doctors offer not only years of training and experience, but also a deep commitment to enhancing our patients' quality of life by helping them achieve their goals. Learn more about our services and how they can benefit you and your family by scheduling a consultation today.