Fresh vs. Frozen Embryos

Fresh vs. Frozen Embryos

by | August 29th, 2017


Fresh vs. frozen embryos: What’s the difference?

Fresh vs. Frozen EmbryosWhile IVF is rarely anyone’s first choice to have a baby, it does have some advantages. One of them is greater control over your fertility. Because embryos are conceived in the laboratory, you and your fertility specialist can make decisions about how best to use them, including whether you want your physician to transfer fresh vs. frozen embryos to achieve pregnancy.

In the past, an IVF cycle typically ended with the transfer of a fresh embryo. Any remaining embryos were frozen. Today, it’s increasingly common to wait a month or two, and then do a frozen embryo transfer (FET). Is one option better than the other? At our New York fertility center, the decision depends on several factors.

Comparing fresh vs. frozen embryos

Some research suggests that IVF outcomes may be improved with frozen embryo transfer, compared with fresh transfer. Scientists believe one reason may be that FET allows for a closer simulation of natural conditions in the woman’s body.

For some women, other factors also come into play when using fresh vs. frozen embryos.

  • Genetic screening: Frozen embryo transfer allows time for embryos to undergo preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) or diagnosis (PGD), increasing confidence that the embryo transferred will be free of genetic defects.
  • Uterine preparation: Rather than rushing to transfer a fresh embryo, even when uterine conditions are less than ideal, FET allows time for the uterine lining to be carefully calibrated to maximize the chance of implantation.
  • OHSS: If a woman is at risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) during IVF, an FET gives her body time to recover.
  • Timing: FET allows you to plan a pregnancy around your life. For example, a teacher may wish to give birth at the start of summer break, so she can spend her time off with her baby.

Freezing embryos is not thought to have a negative impact on their quality, or on the healthy development of a baby. In fact, vitrification techniques have become so advanced that embryos can be stored for decades before being thawed and transferred to grow into healthy children.

On the flip side, freezing and storing embryos for later transfer can increase the cost of an IVF cycle, which is an important consideration for many women and couples.

It’s between you and your doctor

The decision to transfer fresh vs. frozen embryos is up to you and your fertility specialist, and depends on the specific factors surrounding your unique situation. To learn more about the differences between fresh vs. frozen embryos, contact us to schedule an appointment at our New York fertility center.

| Fertility Preservation IVF New York Fertility Services


The staff of New York Fertility Services is committed to providing state of the art integrated treatments designed to achieve optimal pregnancy rates. We recognize the value of time constraints and have structured our clinic to maximize time efficiency for our patients, allowing them to receive integrated treatments, from different providers, in a single location. We will always strive to uphold the highest ethical and moral standards of care. We will provide compassionate, considerate and cost effective care in a tranquil setting, incorporating strategies from both Western Medicine and Ancient Eastern philosophies. We will work in partnership with our patients to realize their dreams of parenthood.

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