Freezing embryos

Hi All

We've just had our appointment to go through all the consent forms and hopefully will start our first cycle in 3 weeks. One of the discussions and consent forms was around freezing embryos and we're not sure what to do. I'm 39 and we have funding for 3 cycles to use before I'm 40 so are we best having all assisted cycles and no frozen cycle. What's the difference between a full cycle and a frozen cycle and does freezing affect the quality of the embryo? X

9 Replies

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  • Wow, you are lucky to have three funded cycles, regarding frozen embryos, they will only freeze them a) if you have a fresh transfer and there are any good quality embryos left over or b) if they end up having to do a freeze all for any reason why a fresh transfer can't happen. Either way, there is plenty of evidence on here of people who have got pregnant with frozen embryos. If you have frozen embryos you won't need to repeat the whole of the cycle again, only the transfer part. Our embryologist said that only 30% of people get frozen embryos after a fresh cycle. Hope this helps a bit xx

  • Thank you. Yes we are lucky we live in the right area. I just want to give us the best chance possibly so if fresh are best then I'd prefer that and freeze on the later cycles if required x

  • There's no guarantee that you'll get enough embryos on a later cycle though... would you want to throw some away and risk that? Also, if you've only got a year, it's worth knowing that prep for a frozen transfer can be a little quicker than prep for a fresh transfer.

    Not trying to be negative, just trying to point out potential pitfalls. Hopefully you'll just get pregnant on the first round and won't have to worry about anything else! Xx

  • It's a very good point. My amh is low. Only 3.4 so maybe it's worth getting any frozen. Was a lot to take in today x

  • If you sign the consent for frozen you can still withdraw that consent at any point at my clinic x

  • I think they'll guide you through this as you get to each stage. Not everyone gets enough good quality embryos to freeze, and most clinics will use fresh in preference. I was a bit freaked out by the thought of freezing embryos to start with, but when I realised that you can end up with embryos left over which can't go back in, I decided I would much rather freeze them than have them thrown away. That said, I've not had good enough results on my two cycles to have any embryos frozen.

    In some areas, if you have any frozen they will make you use these before funding another fresh cycle, and in other areas they only fund one cycle but will also fund the use of any frozen embryos from that cycle. So it will depend what the rules are where you are (and there is not guarantee those rules won't change over time).

  • If you are lucky enough to get any frozen embryos from your cycle it is definitely worth having them frozen as a back up for the future!

    As an example of why, I'll tell you my story:

    I had my first fresh IVF cycle aged 37. Had two embryos transfered but we didn't get any frozen ones. That cycle failed

    Had my second fresh cycle later that year, two were transfered again but that cycle also failed. Luckily we got two spare embryos which we had frozen.

    Waiting to have my third round of IVF, by some miracle I fell pregnant naturally! Sadly I had a horrible miscarriage at 12 weeks then found out I had stage four endometriosis which is likely to have caused all the problems. Had that all surgically treated in October last year but still struggling to conceive. Sadly because I fell pregnant naturally we lost all our NHS funding, even though I miscarried. In order to get more funding we would have to have been ttc for two years by which time I will be too old for funding anyway!

    So now we are having to pay for IVF ourselves. Thankfully we have two frozen embryos so are going to give those a try. A frozen IVF cycle is around £1500 compared to a fresh cycle which is nearer to £5000.

    So the moral to that story is yes, it is definitely worth having any embryos frozen as a back up if you have that option!

    Good luck x

  • So sorry to read your story and thanks for the reply. Yes I'm coming round to thinking that we should have some frozen. I just want to have the best chance possible on all goes as other things are against us. I can't believe you would have to wait another two years. The hospital haven't made me. I got pregnant naturally almost 18 months ago and was referred after about 11 months but there were complications so maybe that's why.

    I truly hope your frozen transfer works now your endo is cleared xx

  • Also, the clinic I am with said you always alternate between fresh and frozen cycles if you have frozen embryos to use so it is worth checking as you may not have the option to go for all fresh cycles every time. Bear in mind the cost difference to the NHS. A fresh cycle is around three times the cost so if they can get success with a frozen cycle they are much more likely to try that first.

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