If you have experienced a failed IVF cycle before, you might have concerns about your upcoming frozen embryo transfer process. You’re not alone. Despite recent advances in IVF (in vitro fertilisation) technology, implantation rates are still relatively low.
According to recent stats from SART (the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) –
- For people under the age of 35, the implantation rate from one IVF cycle is 55.6%.
- For people between 35-37, the implantation rate from one IVF cycle is 40.8%.
- For people above the age of 42, the implantation rate from one IVF cycle is 4.1%.
What factors determine implantation rate? The main ones are
- The health of the embryo
- The health of the endometrium
- The embryo transfer (ET) process selected by the doctor
There are also several variables in embryo transfer (ET) processes that impact IVF success.
- The technique of the embryo transfer (ET) process
- The transfer of the embryo in the cleavage stage as opposed to transferring at a very advanced stage of embryo development (blastocyst embryo)
- The type of embryo cryopreservation techniques applied.
- What types of embryos are transferred – fresh or frozen?
Thankfully, the Best egg freezing clinics offer advanced blastocyst frozen embryo transfers. How is blastocyst transfer better than cleavage-stage transfers? What advantages do frozen embryo transfers offer over fresh transfers? Let’s explore.
Understanding Blastocyst Embryo Transfer
In the past, embryos from ART processes (Assisted Reproductive Technologies – such as IVF) were transferred into a female’s uterus at the cleavage stage. That’s 2 to 3 days after the egg collection process.
Blastocyst transfers have become more prevalent in recent years as they offer higher implantation rates than cleavage stage embryos. A blastocyst transfer is an ET process that involves transferring mature, highly developed embryos into the female’s uterus.
This advanced stage of embryo development is called the blastocyst stage. These transfers are usually done on the fifth day of the egg collection process. Although cleavage-stage ET is still standard nationwide practice, the average egg freezing cost in Mumbai is decreasing.
Couples that want to have higher chances of implantation prefer the process of blastocyst implantation. Blastocyst stage ET is also more beneficial than cleavage-stage transfers because extra time in vitro allows doctors to select embryos with higher implantation potential manually.
What are Frozen Transfers, and Why are they Better than Fresh Transfers?
Fresh embryo transfer has been the norm in infertility treatment procedures for decades. But, frozen transfers are currently in more demand because –
- Unlike fresh embryos, IVF experts have access to more surplus embryos when patients opt for frozen transfers. Eggs from previous IVF cycles can also be used in frozen transfer processes. The higher the number of embryos, the higher the conception rate.
- Frozen ET is also better for women who suffer from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
- Freezing the embryos gives doctors extra time to conduct pre-implantation genetic tests (PGT) and other procedures to select the best embryos. Parents can also specify the child’s gender (unlike fresh transfers that depend purely on chance).
- Frozen ET is cheaper than fresh ET.
- The best egg freezing clinics can cryopreserve your eggs for years. Women over the age of 35 can preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs/embryos beforehand.
- With frozen ET, women have to take less medication. For instance, fresh transfers need egg development. To stimulate egg development and embryo growth, doctors give women many medications. There is no need for such medications with frozen ET as the frozen batch of embryos is ready to be used.
What is the Success Rate of Blastocyst Frozen Embryo Transfers?
If you have your embryos frozen when you’re under the age of 35, your chances of producing high-quality embryos are higher. Embryos obtained from women above the age of 35 are typically more low-quality.
Whether you opt for fresh or frozen ET – your age and health will play a key role in producing high-quality embryos. But, if we’re purely going by success rates, it’s clear that frozen ET and blastocyst-stage ET are better procedures. Make sure to ask your fertility clinic about their fresh/frozen ET success rates.