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Fertility Network UK
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Freezing of embryos on the NHS.

Hi all

This is my first post and my first IVF cycle (NHS), so please forgive my ignorance.

I had my EC on Monday which went quite well I thought with 17 eggs, that eventually were 10 embryos.

I got a call this morning, Day 3 to say all but 2 embryos are at the stage they would expect today so they want to wait until Day 5 on Saturday and hopefully blastocyst stage.

I asked the embryologist how many they may implant but also how many they may freeze and was told they only freeze for 1 in 8 couples. I was quite bemused as my DH and I were told early on by a nurse before I started my meds that if we had any good embryos viable for freezing then they would, meaning it still counts as 1 cycle on the NHS. I know there's no guarantee any will be good enough to freeze but the conflicting information has concerned me.

I know I should just be happy as not everyone can access the NHS and I am. I may be over thinking this but can anyone help?

Thanks

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Perhaps they mean statistically speaking? As in only 1 in 8 ladies have any blastocysts to freeze? That’s what I took from what you’ve said... I had 1 transferred and 4 frozen after EC xx

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Thanks Tugsgirl, it wasn't how she said it but maybe I have misunderstood. I suppose I'll just wait until Saturday and see then. I am hoping I can freeze some.

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i also took it as this too x

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Thanks Lauren3189, maybe I'm worrying for nothing. Fingers crossed I'll have some to freeze.

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I had my ET on Sunday, first and only NHS funded cycle. We were told that only 20% of couples will usually have any to freeze so we should count ourselves lucky if we have any left over.

We had one put back and 2 in the freezer and if this little bean doesn’t stick then they’ll put the others in one by one for free until you get a live birth. If none of them end in a live birth then we have to go again on a fresh cycle and pay for it ourselves.

I had 13 eggs collected, 9 were mature, 7 fertilised, 5 made it to day 3 and only 3 made it to day 5 blasto. I think all the nurse was inferring is it’s a numbers game.

Fingers crossed for your little ones! 🤞

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Hi Vansoire, thank you. I think it's a lot of information to process from the start and that's why I'm a little worried. I guess whatever happens, as long as I have one to transfer then i should be pleased.

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I think she’s quoting stats. As you have quite a large amount of embryos doing well at day 3, you are well on your way to being that “1 of 8” that will freeze.

I think it’s very unlikely you will not have any freeze considering your developments so far.

I had much less embryos than you, 6 in fact, they decided to go to blast after day 3 (same as you). I transferred 2 on day 5 and 3 were good quality to freeze. So in the end I only lost 1.

Your chances are very high!! I’m quite positive you should freeze quite a few.

Don’t worry, your numbers look great, this is very good news for you!

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Ah thank you Beebeestar, you are all making me think I'm worrying over nothing.

I am so pleased that I have somewhere I can ask these questions, it's such a supportive place. 😊

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Yes just chill! I did my first cycle back in Feb and was a real novice! When I got my day 3 call and they said they would go to 5, I had no idea that was actually a really great thing!! Best of luck and looking forward to following your progress.

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They only freeze embryos that are good enough to survive being defrosted and on day 5 this usually means if they are good quality blastocysts. At your age the NHS is pretty strict on transferring only 1 embryo so hopefully if your strong embryos get to blastocyst stage then they would transfer one and freeze the rest.

I didnt have any embryos that were of quality for freezing. Unfortuately its not widely publicised that this can be the case for a lot of couples (which gives higher expectations for the amount of embryos that actually get frozen) which is probably what the embryologist means when they said that only 1 in 8 couples freeze embryos as Tugsgirl said its more a statistic thing. I hope that helps and best of luck for your day 5!xx

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Cinderella5 that's what I'm starting to think that it will depend on the quality and actually if they make it that far. I'd hate to think that if I was lucky enough to have more than one good quality embryo or blastocyst by day 5 that they wouldn't freeze it but I'll cross that bridge I guess. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks for all your help and support it has put my mind at rest.

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Hiya

From my 1st cycle that was NHS we had 6 embryos. 1 reached blasto and was transferred. The other embryo's even though being blastocysts were graded and unfortunately didnt make it to the freezer as they had lots of fragmentation so wouldnt have survived the process. If they had have been good enough this would have still been classed as the 1st cycle. Our hospital would have kept them in storage for up to a year without having to pay for that.

This cycle that we paid for was better. I have 4 embies in the freezer should we need them.

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Hi @Mrsed1982 did you do anything different for stronger embryos on round 2? I had 5 blastocysts on day 5, one transferred and then on day 6 the other 4 had fragmented so couldn't be frozen. So upset to go from 12 eggs, to 8 fertilised, to then just one being transferred. It didn't stick. I'm taking DHEA now x

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All i did differently this time was stop drinking alcohol sooner and changed my diet. No extra supplements xx

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Fab! I'm being much healthier this time round too with no alcohol, caffeine, and I'm eating really good healthy ingredients - I hope all of this along with the DHEA will help x

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Thanks Mrsgled1982 I think they are managing expectation i guess, trying not to get my hopes up.

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My clinic told me they get embryos to freeze for 50% of couples. They are a private clinic who also do nhs work. Their stats are great though. I’m guessing that your clinic get embryos suitable for freezing from 1/8 couples but I can’t imagine they would refuse to freeze if the embryos were suitable so I don’t think you need to worry. It sounds like you have a good chance of being one of that 1/8.

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I agree with the other ladies - I can’t ever imagine a situation where you have embryos of a good enough quality to freeze and then they don’t freeze them. I’m sure she must have been talking about the stats for good embryos. It does sound positive for you that you’ve got so many to this stage. Different areas of the country do have different policies though on what you are allowed on the NHS. My region says you can use all your frozen embryos from your first fresh cycle (if not successful) and that be counted as one cycle whereas my sister only gets 1 frozen transfer funded in her region. I would check to see what the policy in your region is. Good luck with the rest of this cycle!

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Lynnr54 I definitely think I may have misunderstood the embryologist yesterday then as the nurse said I could freeze if they were good. Thank you. I'll find out for sure tomorrow and let you all know.

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Hi Everyone.

I just wanted to update you and thank you all for your responses and putting my mind at rest.

We had our ET on Saturday, we had 1 day 5 blastocyst implanted and 4 blastocysts frozen.

We are so pleased, obviously, hoping for this to work first time but if it doesn't we at least have some frozen.

Thanks again!

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Pleased that it all went well! Good luck in your 2ww!xx

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