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Why We Favor Frozen Cycles Over Fresh

In the generic question of fresh versus frozen, you would assume that fresh is the way to go. However, this isn’t the case when talking about embryo transfer during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.

In our recent blog post, A Look at the IVF Cycle Timeline, we provide in-depth information about the IVF process we use and explain why we work exclusively with frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles.

While FET adds extra step to the IVF process, we believe that FET results in less risk. There are even more benefits to FET:

It increases success rates
Success rates of a FET cycle may be higher due to the condition of the uterus lining preimplantation. Hormone levels in a stimulation cycle can be much higher than a normal menstrual cycle. Placing an embryo back into this environment may cause lower pregnancy rates and more complications later in the pregnancy. Hormones during a FET cycle are similar to your normal menstrual cycle and have proven to have higher pregnancy rates and less complications during the pregnancy.

It gives your body time to rest between cycles
Tying back into minimizing the risk, working with frozen embryos allows your body to rest a cycle or two before the transfer. This is important and could impact the likelihood of a successful embryo implantation.

It gives you the ability to plan ahead
Undergoing IVF with a fresh embryo transfer needs to be done quickly and the timeline allows for little planning. By undergoing a frozen cycle, you are able to have a bit more flexibility in planning how many cycles you would like to wait and can create a loose schedule based on this information. Frozen cycles also gives you the luxury of planning ahead if you are not in the position to have children now, but would like to freeze your embryo for potential future use.

It provides patients additional cycle opportunities
By freezing embryos rather than relying only on the embryos that you can replace in a fresh embryo transfer cycle allows the patient multiple opportunities for pregnancy

This reduces the amount of times a patient needs to undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval which are more time consuming, stressful and expensive.   The success of the embryo is affected by the maternal age at the time that the embryo is frozen so many people have several children from one fresh stimulation cycle some at an age when it would be difficult to achieve pregnancy with a fresh embryo.
Want to find out more information about FET versus fresh cycles and further discuss what treatment option may be best for you? Contact us, today!

WENDY SCHILLIGNS, MD, FACOG

Dr. Schillings is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician and gynecologist. She leads all aspects of patient care at RMAPA. In addition, she formerly led the medical team at RE & I Specialist with the Lehigh Valley Physician Group. Dr. Schillings is chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Lehigh Valley Hospital Health Network and Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State College of Medicine.