Both Frozen Or Fresh Embryos Work Well For IVF In Most Women

Li Peng Monroe top left and her daughters Melissa 20 right and Ashley 17 front were conceived using frozen embryos

The difference was statistically insignificant.

"This new study shows that infertile women not suffering from PCOS have equivalent live IVF birth rates from frozen embryos, which is important news for infertile women worldwide".

In one study of 2,157 ovulatory women with infertility in China, the live-birth rate did not differ significantly between the frozen-embryo group and the fresh-embryo group (48.7% and 50.2%, respectively; RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89-1.06, P=0.50), reported Zi-Jiang Chen, MD, PhD, of Shandong Provincial Hospital, and colleagues.

In a study of nearly 800 women with infertility unrelated to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates were the same between women who underwent IVF using frozen embryos and those who did so using fresh embryos. Participants were given one treatment of IVF where either a fresh or thawed embryo was transferred.

For women using in vitro fertilization to have a child, using either fresh or frozen embryos have similar success rates for most women, according to an global team of researchers.

Li Peng Monroe, top left, and her daughters, Melissa, 20, right, and Ashley, 17, front, were conceived using frozen embryos.

The study found the rates of pregnancy and live births were comparable when women were implanted with either fresh
123RF The study found the rates of pregnancy and live births were comparable when women were implanted with either fresh or frozen embryos

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In the Vietnam study of 782 women undergoing their first or second attempt, the live birth rates after the first transfer were 33.8 percent with frozen and 31.5 percent for fresh.

In a 12-month post-hoc analysis, the median time to pregnancy was slightly higher in the frozen-embryo group compared with the fresh-embryo group (3.6 months versus 2.2 months), but the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate 1 year after randomization was similar (54.2% versus 53.5%).

In addition, studies showed that some women who experience a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), in which the ovaries develop fluid-filled follicles and fail to release eggs, increased their chances of having a live baby when they used frozen embryos. Each woman received up to two cleavage-stage embryos.

Together, these factors prompted many clinics to advocate freezing of all embryos. This could challenge the long-held belief of fertility specialists that freezing and thawing embryos before implanting them offers a better chance of successful pregnancy and birth. The resulting embryo is then inserted in the woman's uterus.

"We shouldn't be freezing embryos across the board [for all IVF cycles] if it makes no difference", says Dr. Christos Coutifaris, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and chief of reproductive endocrinology at University of Pennsylvania, who was also not involved in the study. After the first fresh embryo transfer, it will be possible to freeze the remaining embryos and transfer them one by one, which is safe and effective. But for other women, fresh embryos, according to the two studies, are just as likely to result in ongoing pregnancies and live births. "And that's reassuring for people who do a lot of frozen embryo transfer, which most of us are doing".

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