Fresh or Frozen Embryo Transfer? A Never-Ending IVF Debate

fresh vs frozen embryo transfer which one is better

1978 was the year when the world of parenthood changed—this year marked a revolution when we were introduced to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology. It was finally possible for men and women to easily grasp the desire for parenthood. 

When IVF was first introduced to the world, only fresh embryo transfer was possible, as the concept of cryopreservation of embryos was still in its infancy. Some 40+ years later, cryopreservation, culture media, and other advanced reproductive technologies have improved tremendously. This advancement has made the transfer of fresh and frozen embryos possible. In this article, we’ll talk about which one is better – fresh or frozen embryo, the difference between the two, quality, cost, risks present in the process, success rate, and advantages of the two. Let’s give this article a read, shall we?

Fresh vs. Frozen Embryo Transfer: Which One Is Better? 

When it comes to embryo transfer, the debate between using frozen or fresh embryos is ongoing in the world of assisted reproductive technology. Both options have pros and cons, making the choice dependent on various factors.

Fresh embryo transfer involves: 

  • Immediate use of embryos after their creation.
  • Allows immediate selection of the best-quality embryos. 
  • Results in a higher success rate.

Frozen embryo transfer involves:

  • Freezing embryos for later use. 
  • Offers flexibility in timing, allowing the uterus to recover from stimulation drugs. 
  • Provides a more receptive environment. 
  • It provides the opportunity to check genetic abnormalities before transfer.

Explore more on Fresh Embryo Transfer: Frozen Blastocyst Transfer: A Comprehensive Guide

The choice in fresh and frozen embryo transfer depends on circumstances like a woman’s health, quality of embryos, and specific IVF protocols.

Difference Between Fresh And Frozen Embryo Transfers

  • Fresh Embryo Transfer (FET):

Typically, five days are allotted for a new embryo transfer after a patient’s eggs are extracted. Sfertilizeslises eggs in a lab environment, where the resultant embryos are carefully raised and observed. One clear benefit of the expedited method of obtaining eggs and putting viable embryos into the uterus in this short amount of time is a quicker route to conception. Moreover, insurance policies frequently do not cover the cost of cryopreservation, which makes fresh transfers the preferred option for some patients.

Nonetheless, one must take into account contraindications. High progesterone can interfere with the implantation of the embryo, which would make a fresh transfer inappropriate. Additionally, due to possible health risks, patients with hyperstimulation from egg maturation medications should refrain from fresh transfers.

  • Frozen Embryo Transfer:

Usually, a frozen embryo transfer (FET) takes place six to eight weeks following the freezing process of the embryo. Once the patient is ready, drugs are given to simulate a regular menstrual cycle, which positions the FET date for implantation as precisely as possible.

FET becomes required for patients who choose to test embryos for genetic abnormalities. After egg retrieval, a biopsy is performed as part of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to check the embryo’s DNA for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities. The chances of a successful pregnancy are greatly increased by transferring only chromosomally normal embryos.

Additional benefits of FET include the ability to:

  • Keep embryos viable for years
  • Preserve embryos for later use
  • Benefit patients who wish to maintain their fertility due to age, medical conditions, or other reasons.
fresh or frozen embryo transfer which is better, get personal consultation

Further Decoding The Differences Between The Two

Fresh and Frozen embryo transfers each present unique characteristics, making their comparison crucial in assisted reproductive technology. 

Quality:

  • During an ongoing IVF cycle, fresh embryo transfer typically uses embryos immediately after creation to select the best available embryos at that point. While this approach prioritizes early assessment, it may limit opportunities for comprehensive genetic screening or future embryo optimization.
  • Frozen embryo transfer facilitates meticulous observation and potential genetic screening to select the most viable embryos, often resulting in superior quality transfers and potentially enhancing implantation and pregnancy success.

Cost:

  • Fresh Transfer: Fresh embryo transfers are cost-effective initially. However, additional cycles, medication, monitoring, and procedural expenses may escalate the overall cost if multiple attempts are required due to failed implantations.
  • Frozen Transfer: While the initial expenses for cryopreservation and storage are higher, the long-term cost-effectiveness of frozen embryo transfer is favorable. It eliminates the need for multiple complete IVF cycles, thus reducing expenses in the long run.

Risks:

  • Fresh Transfer: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a potential consequence of fertility medications used for egg production, poses a risk with fresh embryo transfers. Symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea, and, in severe cases, fluid accumulation, although rare, warrant consideration.
  • Frozen Transfer: Hormonal preparation for frozen embryo transfer necessitates synchronizing the uterus with implantation timing, which carries potential risks. These include inadequate uterine lining thickness, affecting implantation success, and hormonal imbalances, potentially impacting uterine receptivity.

Success Rate:

  • Fresh Transfer: Immediate implantation is favorable to uterine conditions because the prompt use of fresh embryos may increase the likelihood of successful implantation in specific situations.
  • Frozen Transfer: Providing greater control over the uterine environment, frozen embryo transfer boasts a higher success rate. Precise planning synchronization with the woman’s natural cycle and pre-transfer genetic screening for normal chromosomes increase the chances of a successful pregnancy in certain circumstances.

Advantages:

  • Fresh Transfer: The time it takes to conceive is shorter for fresh embryo transfers. Using freshly created embryos as soon as possible maximizes their viability and chances of successful implantation. 
  • Frozen Transfer: Because of its flexibility, the implantation process can be scheduled more conveniently and better coincide with the patient’s menstrual cycle, resulting in optimal conditions. When compared to new cycles, it also lowers the risk of OHSS. Pre-transfer genetic screening is another option that improves the success rate. Furthermore, keeping extra embryos in hand offers beneficial alternatives for maintaining fertility in the future.

Crysta IVF, the Best Fertility Centre in Delhi, is aware of the dilemma of choosing between fresh and frozen embryo transfer. Each patient works directly with our knowledgeable team of specialists to develop personalized treatment plan that considers their unique needs and preferences.

why-choose-crysta-ivf

Thanks to our state-of-the-art technology and all-inclusive support, we guide you through every step, whether you prefer the flexibility and control of frozen embryos or the instant satisfaction of a fresh transfer. Get in touch with Crysta IVF, and let us help you confidently navigate the path to parenthood. Visit our website at https://crystaivf.com/ to schedule an appointment right now.


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Milan Mahapatra

Milan is an enthusiastic content strategist and storyteller with attention to detail. As a Lead Content Writer for Crysta IVF, he creates engaging stories that enlighten and motivate patients as they prepare for fatherhood. Having a thorough awareness of the fertility environment, Milan uses his writing abilities to empower and inform those considering treatment. He is committed to providing factual, engaging, and interesting content that speaks to the audience of Crysta IVF.

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