What is a frozen embryo transfer?
A frozen embryo is a female egg that has been fertilized by sperm and frozen using a flash-freezing process called vitrification. Embryos can be frozen for an extended period until the embryos are ready to be transferred to a uterus. There are several benefits that can come from freezing a fertilized egg.
1. Growing a family down the road
Some women don’t want to become pregnant during peak reproductive years due to other goals and commitments. Freezing an embryo gives a woman peace of mind knowing that having a baby in the future is an option.
Essentially, frozen embryos are a loophole for the female reproductive biological clock. Frozen embryos maintain a prime reproductive potential at the time of freezing. For example, a woman can freeze an embryo at 35 and have a frozen embryo transfer performed at a later date when the chances of conceiving are low.
Radiation during chemotherapy can have a negative effect on a woman’s reproductive capabilities. Freezing an embryo before starting cancer treatment allows women to become pregnant at a later date. A frozen embryo transfer can also be performed on a gestational carrier if needed.
3. Genetic testing
Freezing embryos allows for genetic screening of mutations and viable embryos for implantation. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) checks for any abnormalities in chromosomes that can result in implantation failure, miscarriage, Down syndrome, and other genetic mutations.
Cryopreservation gives you more time
Frozen embryo transfer is a relatively new and advanced way to delay an embryo transfer until a woman is ready to conceive with a viable embryo. Modern advancements in the vitrification process and frozen embryo transfer process have made cryopreservation a successful way to get pregnant when the time is right. Women and couples interested in egg preservation should speak with a fertility specialist to learn more.