Embryo cryopreservation (embryo freezing) is often utilised during IVF cycles as a way to preserve good quality, excess embryos, created during a fresh IVF cycle, for use in future frozen IVF cycles. Embryo freezing is also an effective method of fertility preservation.
Embryo versus egg freezing
The main difference between embryo freezing and egg freezing is the presence of sperm. In embryo freezing, eggs are retrieved and then fertilised by sperm to create embryos. They are then cryopreserved until ready to be used to attempt pregnancy.
Embryo freezing may be a good option for singles or couples who want to delay parenthood, or in cases where ovarian hyperstimulation is a serious concern.
Embryo cryopreservation represents the latest in cutting-edge technology for couples that are looking for the most effective, successful ways to delay childbearing and preserve fertility. The reasons for this choice are varied and can range from the pressures of furthering a career or education, to decisions driven by medical challenges.
Recent advances in embryo preservation mean that over 90% of embryos that have gone through the process have been successfully frozen and thawed, with many being successfully implanted and resulting in healthy pregnancies.
While in the past the decision to delay pregnancy created a very real risk of future conceiving problems, embryo cryopreservation has eliminated these concerns. The technique utilises a fast freeze method, known as vitrification, that allows embryos and eggs to be preserved indefinitely for future use.
This means that women no longer need to fear the impact that aging may have on their ability to have healthy babies, as eggs for embryo cryopreservation can be retrieved early in her reproductive life and preserved for future use. Additionally, those embryos created as part of an IVF treatment can be saved for use for a future pregnancy, greatly reducing the risk of secondary infertility.
Explore more fertility treatments
Artificial Insemination (AI/IUI)
Artificial insemination brings healthier sperm closer to the egg by placing washed sperm directly inside the uterus.
Egg & Sperm Freezing
Egg and sperm freezing (cryopreservation) is the process of freezing for future use.