Frozen Embryo Transfer Research

Continued research is giving legs to the idea that the type of embryo transfer you opt for makes little to no difference in the success of your IVF experience.

Fresh embryo transfers were once believed to offer a greater chance at cell division and implantation, but recent studies from Seattle Reproductive Medicine show that this theory is becoming more of a medical superstition. The study showed that frozen embryos have success rates just as high as fresh embryo transfers while offering one substantial benefit: they reduce costs dramatically.

The study closely examined 113 fresh transfers against 77 frozen transfers over a one year time period. While the fresh embryo transfers did boast a marginally higher success rate (60% vs. 57% from frozen embryo transfers), the study also found that couples electing to use frozen eggs made it to transfer in a markedly shorter time than those using a fresh cycle; 172 days compared to 217 days, on average.

In addition to this surprising find, there were also the expected results. Patients expecting a frozen transfer had a far lower cycle cancellation rate than those attempting for a fresh cycle. Reasons for this were not expressly outlined in the study, but likely include the risks of a low retrieval rate or embryos that failed to develop properly in the days between retrieval and anticipated transfer.

The cost comparison was also considered. The study found that the cost of a frozen embryo transfer came in at just about 60% of what could be expected for a fresh embryo transfer. This is clearly a motivating factor for couples using IVF to create a family, as the drastic savings could equate to the availability of funding additional cycles, should preliminary attempts prove unsuccessful.

When coupled together, the high success rates, cost savings, and lower risk of cycle cancellation seem to add up to an ideal recipe for success. By the close of the study, researchers noted that more than 60% of patients were opting for frozen embryo transfers.

Growing Generations offers both fresh and frozen embryo transfer options to our clients. Your Case Specialist will be able to weigh the pros and cons as they relate to your specific criteria, and help you decide which option is best for you.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.