This is the process of freezing embryos by a process called vitrification for intended long-term use in the future.
The formation of embryos is by an IVF/ICSI cycle.
Once embryos are formed, the excess is frozen by a process called vitrification.
Patient is seen on day 1 or 2 of periods.
We do a transvaginal scan to confirm the absence of any cysts.
Medication may be started in case of a hormonal cycle
Ultrasound monitoring of the endometrial lining is done starting about day 10 of cycle
Once the lining reaches a satisfactory thickness, progesterone is started,
Embryo transfer is planned after 3-5 days of progesterone depending on whether day 3 or day 5 embryos need to be replaced.
Embryo transfer is done under ultrasound guidance.
Luteal phase support with injections or medicines is advised for two weeks.
Beta hCG blood test is taken after 12 -14 days of transfer.
Embryo freezing has been in common use since the 1980s and has been proven to be a safe and effective method, especially with the advent of vitrification.
There is a theoretical risk of embryos getting damaged or not surviving when thawed.,
As usually only good quality embryos are chosen to be frozen,the risk of damaging the embryos remains negligible in experienced hands.
There is no theoretical limit to the number of years where they remain viable but under the latest Indian law, storage is allowed for a period of ten years.
YES, World over there has been an increase in the number of frozen embryo transfers(FET) in the past decade.
Frozen embryo transfers are reported to give as good as and in many instances better pregnancy rates when compared to fresh transfers.
In case you have finished your family or do not want to renew storage for some other reason, you can choose to,
1. Discard the embryos.
2. Donate them for research or for training purposes.
This is usually covered in the consent form signed at the start of the process itself.
YES, Informed consent is taken from both partners before proceeding with freezing.
Consent is also taken about what to do in case there is the untimely death of one partner or in case of legal divorce.