Study Finds Using Frozen Embryos for IVF Just as Successful

frozen embryos

A landmark study has revealed frozen embryos prove just as successful for IVF as fresh ones. In fact, the technique used could actually be more effective according to the results of the fertility study due to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

So far, the frozen embryo technique has been somewhat controversial. In 2010, the government released its own figures stating that frozen embryos had a 10 per cent less chance of being successful than fresh ones. This new study clearly disputes those findings and provides hope for infertile women across the globe.

Understanding the findings

The international study was led by researchers from China and Vietnam. It involved almost 800 infertile women and it revealed promising results. Frozen embryos were discovered to result in pregnancy for 36 per cent of women, while fresh embryos resulted in pregnancies in 35 per cent.

More importantly, frozen embryos were also found to result in a higher percentage of live births. It showed 34 per cent of pregnancies in the frozen group resulted in live births, whereas 32 per cent of live births were recorded in the fresh embryo group.

Why are these results promising?

Women seeking fertility treatment have a number of difficult decisions to make. One of them, is whether or not they should opt for frozen or fresh embryos. Up until now, fresh embryos have been thought to be the best possible option. However, as the findings of this landmark study show, that isn’t actually the case.

So, why does it matter? Well, frozen embryos are an ideal solution for those looking to preserve their fertility. Numerous factors can cause women to become infertile before they are ready to have children. Cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, are well-known to cause infertility. Many women are also now putting off having a family until they’ve focused on their careers.

So, fertility preservation has become extremely important. Being able to use frozen embryos with the knowledge they’re just as effective as fresh ones, can encourage more women to take the necessary steps to preserve their fertility.

Being aware of the facts and understanding the effectiveness of using frozen embryos is vital in terms of helping women and couples make the right treatment choice.

Should all embryos be frozen?

As the study reveals such promising results, it begs the question – should all embryos be frozen? While fresh embryos were shown to have a slightly lower success rate, it wasn’t a significant difference. Therefore, that alone isn’t a good argument to start freezing all embryos. However, findings have also revealed that frozen embryo transfers can reduce the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

The majority of OHSS cases are said to be relatively minor, but there is a possibility it could prove fatal. So, moving forward, freezing all embryos could prove to be a positive step, not only to improve live birth success, but to reduce the risk of OHSS too.

If nothing else, this new landmark study provides reassurance to women who may need to have their embryos frozen. It has disproved official findings that the frozen transfer method was unsafe and less likely to prove successful.