In Vitro Fertilization without Embryo Freezing
(Embryo Friendly IVF)

In the past, it has been standard to freeze embryos for patients undergoing In Vitro Fertilization. Now, that has dramatically changed...

Formerly, there was only one option from which patients could choose. This option was embryo cryopreservation (freezing) since freezing oocytes (eggs) was not possible due to crystal formation, which proved detrimental to the oocyte. "Vitrification" is a new and different method of cryopreservation in which ice crystals do not form. With the advent of vitrification, eggs can now be cryopreserved, thus eliminating the dilemma of what to do with remaining embryos. This process also provides patients with more autonomy in their own healthcare decisions.

The Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery (SEFC) offers both embryo cryopreservation and oocyte vitrification. Recent studies have shown very similar pregnancy rates for both processes. Specifically, studies have shown equivalent pregnancy rates using either fresh or vitrified/thawed oocytes. This breakthrough development now allows us to safely recommend IVF without cryopreservation.

With embryo freezing, couples are left with the decision of what to do with embryos that remain after they have completed their families. We at SEFC do not believe in the destruction of embryos since an embryo is human life in its earliest stage. Although not all embryos will survive even when given an optimal chance, there is no way to know for certain whether a given embryo truly has a chance for eventual birth. Therefore, we ask our patients to decide if they want to use their remaining embryos themselves or donate them to be used by another infertile couple.

IVF without freezing offers a tremendous benefit to couples who agree that destruction of human embryos is wrong. With oocyte vitrification, once a couple has completed their family, the leftover eggs can be destroyed since they have not been fertilized with the male's sperm, thus eliminating the embryo dilemma. With essentially identical pregnancy rates, patients can comfortably decide whether embryo cryopreservation or oocyte vitrification is the best option for them.

For more information, please feel free to contact us at (865)777-0088, or use the Contact Us form.


Related Information

  Optimal Timing for Elective Oocyte Cryopreservation (Egg Freezing) The aim of this study was to use decision-tree analysis to determine the benefit of oocyte cryopreservation in terms of probability of future live birth, dependent on the age of the woman at the time of cryopreservation and intended wait time to pursuing pregnancy. A secondary aim was to determine the cost- effectiveness of oocyte cryopreservation.