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The transfer of frozen embryos allows us to maximise the chances of success.
Traditionally , we have always transferred fresh embryos in the IVF cycle. Basically, we would select the best quality embryo(s), and transfer this, with the hope that this would implant . If there were spare
( supernumerary ) embryos of good-quality , we would then freeze these; and then transfer them in a later cycle, in case the fresh cycle failed. The transfer of frozen embryos allowed us to maximise the chances of success.
Fresh or Frozen Embryos?
Interestingly , lots of clinics are now observing that the pregnancy in frozen cycles seems to be better than with the fresh cycles ! While this may seem counter intuitive, there are multiple reasons for why this is so:
The Focus Point
In a fresh superovulated cycle, our focus is on growing many eggs. The hormones we use for superovulation end up distorting endometrial receptivity , so that even if endometrium appears perfect on the ultrasound scan, it may actually not be optimally receptive to the transferred embryo.
On the other hand , when we are transferring frozen embryos , we can use a natural cycle ; or focus on preparing endometrium with hormones, so that it is optimally receptive ; which is why we have a higher success rate when we transfer good-quality embryos into this uterus.
After freezing and thawing , the chances of embryo implantation improve considerably, so that many successful clinics now routinely use a "freeze all embryos" policy for their patients.This approach does have some disadvantages: