Many couples pursuing IVF treatment opt to have some of their embryos frozen – which means embryos not used during the initial treatment, providing they are of suitable quality, can be frozen for future use. You can find out more about the process on our Embryo Freezing page. The embryos will be carefully stored by us until required, at which point the frozen embryos can be thawed and placed into the woman’s uterus via a process called frozen embryo transfer.
Of course, storing frozen embryos does require careful monitoring and additional cost, but benefits for the patient include not having to undergo an entire IVF cycle again. Since the embryos have already been created, patients can skip the egg stimulation and collection stage – though medication may be needed to help thicken and maintain the uterine lining – meaning the whole process can be much quicker and easier than a fresh embryo transfer.
Frozen embryo transfer success rates are generally comparable to those of IVF treatment with fresh embryos. With all fertility treatment, there is never a guarantee of success and often it depends on a range of individual factors. Your consultant will be able to discuss these with you on a one-to-one basis, and only embryos deemed high enough quality should be frozen.