Fertility Network UK

E-Freeze option

hello everyone.. so.. we have been given the option to enter the E-Freeze trial here in Aberdeen. For those of you that don't know anything about it in a nutshell it is as follows: If you are eligible then you have the option to freeze all viable embryos and wait 3-4 weeks for the drugs to get out your system and then they thaw one and you get it transferred rather than having a fresh embryo transfer at 3-5 days. I guess the purpose of the study is to see if it works better than the way they do it now. i believe there are a few hospitals/clinics doing it and Aberdeen is one of them and we are in the eligible category. I'm reaching out because i'm in two minds. my husband isn't too keen on it because the thawing process has a 90% success rate and the success rate at aberdeen for my age group is 28.9% with fresh eggs and 31.2% for frozen. his concern is if the best embryo is the one that doesn't survive the thaw that we may be doing ourselves a disservice by doing this trial. I can't stop thinking about that 2.3% increase in chances.. what are your thoughts.. help me out girls.

13 Replies

Hi, oh wow! How exciting! Based on what I know and my personal experience I would definitely go for this. There is evidence to suggest that "freeze all" is the way ivf is going and it makes sense; putting embryos back into a more natural uterine environment and giving your body chance to recover from the drugs. My daughter was a frozen embryo and I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant from another fet so feel very lucky. I completely understand your husbands concerns; he wants to maximise your chances too of course. But your embryos have to be of good quality to freeze and the success rate of thawing blasts is 95% (I think) so the risk of not thawing is very low. In any case it depends how many embryos you have and whether they are good enough quality to freeze. The success rate is higher for fets at the clinic so I say go for it! All that said everyone's situation is different and you have to weigh up all the options and do what is right for you. Sending love and good luck!! Xxxxx

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Hi Maikai. Yes, it all boils down to a frozen embryo transfer on a natural cycle, or with minimal drug use. Over the years this method has proved to be beneficial and getting better results. It just gives your body a better chance to use its own hormones. Obviously, I do wish you well with all of this, and of course for success. Diane


I guess one of the questions is that if i have enough embryos to freeze is it not worth trying a natural embryo over a frozen one if i'm going to have the chance for frozen ones after... so confusing. Also i'll be 38 in october and not scheduled for egg retrieval until the first full week of april - don't really want to push things back any further as with every day that goes by i'm losing statistical points!


Hi Maikai. A natural cycle of IVF will still involve the use of drugs, egg retrieval, fertilisation and embryo transfer, just for one egg. the E-freeze option, should give you several embryos to store frozen as a one-off procedure, thus allowing for more, easier transfers, plus allowing the body to recover before FET. Diane


Dianne, I have been told, and i think you and i may indeed be saying the same thing but i wanted to clarify, the process for me is as follows if i DO NOT do the efreeze.

1) drugs

2) egg retrieval

3) best embryo transferred day 3-5, any other viable embryos frozen

4) test

4a) if positive attempt to have baby

4b) if negative - wait at least one full natural menstrual cycle then start from step 3 - 4 with a frozen embryo until no frozen embryos left.

the only difference i see if i DO enter EFreeze is that there will be an extra step

1) ..

2) ..

3) wait up to 3 months for drugs to clear system and then get frozen embryo transfer

4) ..

Am i misunderstanding?

The way i understood was in the DO NOT enter EFreeze means i try with an embryo before the drugs leave the system and then later use any frozen embryos i'm lucky to have.

reading that back it sounds like i'm being argumentative but i'm not... i'm just REALLY confused :( not difficult at the moment to be fair - suffering from a little information overload!

Thanks for any/all clarity!


Hi. Yes, after stage 2, then fertilisation and storing frozen. carry on from Stage 3 2-3 months later. Any extra embryos will be stored frozen for future use if needed. There is usually a charge for storage. This is going to be amazing and I wish you both HUGE success. Diane


Hi maikai. Of course! Do speak to your consultant about this. Diane


we don't have to pay for storage in scotland. its part of the treatment.


Hi Maikai. Hadn't realised that you are in Scotland - great! Diane


I am in the same boat as you with being offered e freeze by the clinic. And the way my husband and I see it is that we only get 1 cycle on the nhs, and we don't want anything all all to affect our chances of conceiving. If we had 3 cycles we wouldn't mind as much but as this is our only chance we will decline. We have also been offered the endo scratch which we will do as there are private clinics offering this service at a premium to increase the chances of the embryo sticking. My first consultation is on Monday and we will find out exactly what meds we will be on and when they start. I'm super nervous xx


Thanks for the reply. We are pretty similar schedules I think let's keep in touch


Im from Scotland too and Ive heard quite promising results from this study that they are doing in Aberdeen and they are trying to convince other health boards to come on board with it. Its a lot to put your body through then to have to leave it longer to transfer but I do think there is maybe something in it not having been through all the down reg/stims/egg collection so your body isnt so violated! All the best with your decision.x


I have been giving your post some thought over the last few days and I am not sure if you have reached any conclusions.

So a few thoughts below if they are of use.

I have had 6 ICSI rounds where we immediately went into transfer 3 days later. I always wondered if I am honest if it would be better to freeze and give your body time to clear all the medication before hitting it with more. If the quality of our embryos were such I would have had the discussion with the consultant.

My recent experience was going down the donor route and therefore I did not need to go through a EC and all the meds. I found it a lot easier on my body and meant that I could really get fit leading up to this. Although I was bombarded with lots of other meds I just thought it was better.

I think a number of people will say that if the embryo would not make it through a freeze thaw then it might not have made it anyway. I am not sure how true this is but it could help with all the other things that could be done to look for the best quality e.g. eeva.

Is this your first time? If so I can understand your hesitancy.

It is your body that is affected by going through this process and only you can decide but I hope that comments from the forum are at lest helping a little.

Is it possible for you to get a little list of your concerns together to run through it with the clinic? That may also help.

Wishing you all the very best with whatever you choose to do.



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